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Classy Kameko set to silence his doubters with second Classic win


Kameko can deliver today at Epsom

Kameko can deliver today at Epsom

Kameko can deliver today at Epsom

Kameko can add a second Classic to his CV with victory in the Investec Derby at Epsom.

Andrew Balding's charge was a narrow winner of the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket last month and he can show he is a true star by surmounting doubts about the 12-furlong trip to take the Derby crown back to Kingsclere.

On the face of it there has to be some doubts about Kameko staying the distance - but he was certainly not stopping running into the dip at Newmarket after travelling strongly throughout the mile trip.

While the official margin was a neck, Kameko could possibly have won by a little further as he drifted right in the finish and he showed that his Group One win over a mile as a juvenile was certainly no flash in the pan.

His sire, Kitten's Joy, has produced runners that have mainly thrived at distances of 10 furlongs and under so far, but he has not had that many runners at trips in excess of that, so there is some hope there, especially as Balding has touched on the family link to Champion Hurdle winner Alderbrook further back in the line.


The Aidan O'Brien team will make it a stern test, but Oisín Murphy will be alive to the threat and Kameko can respond to the challenge in style.

A place mention should be given to Pyledriver, a horse who has no such stamina concerns, and could offer a little extra value.

FRANKLY DARLING can complete her meteoric rise in the Investec Oaks.

Beaten into second on her only juvenile start, there was plenty of buzz about her ahead of her outing on the day racing resumed and she lived up to the hype with an effortless five-length victory without ever coming off the bridle.

That form was only average, but there was nothing humdrum about her victory in the Ribblesdale at Royal Ascot where, despite racing a bit keenly through the early stages, she showed she thoroughly stays a mile and a half as she triumphed by nearly two lengths over the reopposing Ennistymon.

Frankly Darling looked good value for the margin of victory and while 1000 Guineas winner Love represents a different calibre of opposition again, Frankie Dettori's mount can respond to the challenge and complete owner Anthony Oppenheimer's full house of Classics as a breeder.

SAFE VOYAGE was just edged out on his return at Haydock, but the run should put him spot on for the Investec Surrey Stakes. Beaten a neck by Space Blues on Merseyside, the form got a nice boost when the winner followed up in a French Group Three last week having shown Group One form as a three-year-old.

SUMMER ROMANCE should be able to step up on what was only a moderate return with victory in the Princess Elizabeth Stakes. Charlie Appleby made no secret of the fact he would have preferred a prep run for this filly before pitching her into the 1000 Guineas, but given the way the season has played out, he had little choice but to take a leap of faith.

The decision did not really pay dividends at Newmarket as Summer Romance finished well behind Love, but the outing should have brought her on and this Group Three should certainly be an easier task than a Classic.

BILLESDON BROOK found Royal Ascot too challenging at this time of year, but can fare much better today now that she is dropped back in class for the Queen Charlotte Fillies' Stakes at Chelmsford.

Richard Hannon's charge made a promising start to the campaign when failing by three-quarters of a length to give Nazeef 3lb at Kempton, with the winner subsequently adding a Group Two triumph to her tally at Ascot.

Today's selections

BELLEWSTOWN: 2.45 Sani Pass, 3.20 Maria Francesca, 3.55 Top Line Tommy, 4.30 Imperial Blonde, 5.00 Benefit North, 5.30 Poseidon, 6.05 State Of Glory.

CHELMSFORD: 4.35 Waddat, 5.10 Recovery Run, 5.40 Mayson Mount, 6.10 Yes Always, 6.40 Billesdon Brook, 7.10 Coverham, 7.40 Arafi, 8.10 Astro King, 8.40 Flying West.

EPSOM: 1.50 Modern News, 2.25 Safe Voyage, 3.00 Caradoc, 3.40 Frankly Darling, 4.15 Summer Romance, 4.55 KAMEKO (NAP) 5.35 Count Otto.

HAYDOCK: 12.00 Redgrave, 12.30 Blazing Hot, 1.00 Good Answer, 1.30 Wedding Dance, 2.05 Top Class Angel, 2.40 The Met, 3.15 Grande Rumore, 3.50 Perfect Inch, 4.25 Arch Moon.

NAAS: 2.00 Tar Heel, 2.30 Mother Earth, 3.05 Bellick, 3.35 Funny Little Ways, 4.05 Kassaba, 4.40 Lough Cutra, 5.15 Laburnum, 5.45 Art Power.

YARMOUTH: 5.20 Capla Huntress, 5.55 Arabian Romance, 6.25 Songkran, 6.55 Surprise Picture, 7.25 Tsar, 7.55 Roca Magica, 8.25 Penarth Pier, 8.55 Ice Ice Lady.

DOUBLE: Kameko and Safe Voyage.