The Derby Festival is now just days away, with the action kicking off on the Epsom Downs on Friday afternoon.
The first day’s racing includes the third Classic of the season, the Oaks, as well as the Group 1 Coronation Cup.
Here are our three runners to watch out on the opening day of the Derby Festival.
Love – Coronation Cup
It is still unconfirmed whether Love will make her seasonal return in the first Group 1 contest of the Derby meeting, but her ante-post price tag of 6/1 may be worth taking a gamble on.
The four-year-old stormed to a 1000 Guineas & Oaks double last season for Aidan O’Brien, winning by a combined total of 13½ length.
The filly has been tilted to return at Royal Ascot in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes where she holds odds of 3/1 and is currently second-favourite behind John & Thady Gosden’s Lord North.
The confirmed field in the Coronation Cup would be considered a slightly ‘easier’ contest and her price would surely drop like a stone if she is declared in the contest on Wednesday.
Montather – Class 2 1m2f Cazoo Handicap
The son of Dubawi makes his handicap debut on the Epsom Downs after three promising starts over a mile for Roger Varian.
The four-year-old made up plenty of ground to claim success on his debut back in November 2019, but he could only manage third on his turf debut at Newmarket last June.
He did have to give 7lbs to his rivals on that occasion, but he responded with a 4¼ length victory at Thirsk a month later.
This is a tough first assignment in handicap company, but Montather has shown plenty of potential in his short career so far.
Noon Star – The Oaks
Holding a current price of 12/1, Noon Star could prove to be huge value in this season’s renewal of the Oaks.
The lack of pace in the Musidora Stakes did not suit her in the slightest and she did bump into Mystery Angel into the home straight which did affect her chances.
Sir Michael Stoute’s filly should come on for that run and could well relish the further distance in this contest.
Her pedigree suggests she should stay the trip and she could produce a more threatening challenge here than last time out.