When it comes to Derby weekend, you’ll have all your mates asking for your NAP of the day.
Whether you fancy Sir Dragonet to repay his supplementary fee or Telecaster to fill the same role, nobody really wants to go around tipping favourites.
Saturday racing is about reading the form and finding a big priced winner from the action across the UK and Ireland.
That’s the job that Luke Parkinson is aiming to do with his three ‘outsider’ picks for Saturday.
Kevin Ryan has had 3 winners from his last 10 runners on a Saturday, which is a pretty handy recent Saturday strike rate to be taking into the meat and gravy of the flat season.
He has just two runners this Saturday, both at Musselburgh, with Celebrity Dancer looking like a decent outsider in the Madeleine Cup at 2:50pm.
He wasn’t disgraced when returning after eight months off to finish third of six in an Ascot handicap 22 days ago and could come on for that run.
He was twice a winner as a two-year-old, with victories coming on his debut at Pontefract and then over six furlongs at Ayr in July.
He’s run in a trio of class two’s since then, without winning, so the drop back down to a class three could help this weekend.
Muthmir is a real eye-catching each-way fancy in the Dash and there are plenty of reasons to think that he might upset the odds.
Available at double-figure prices on final declarations, he returns to handicap company for the first time since smashing the track record at Doncaster in the 2014 renewal of the Portland.
Last year was spent running in Group and Listed company, with results proving that he could be above this level on Saturday afternoon.
A win in the Listed Achilles Stakes at Haydock in June, was accompanied by placed efforts in the Group Three Coral Charge at Sandown and the Group Two King George Qatar Stakes at Goodwood.
He also boasts a healthy strike rate at this level with three wins and a place from five runs in class two events. That could be the difference this weekend, and he has a look of being slightly overpriced.
Aidan O’Brien will saddle seven runners in this year’s Derby with runaway Chester winner Sir Dragonet seemingly leading his charge in the hands of Ryan Moore.
He’ll quite rightly get the pre-race headlines after being supplemented to the tune of £85k, but punters may well be ignoring O’Brien’s Japan.
He was an outright Derby favourite earlier this season but is now into double figures after looking far from his best in the Dante at York.
There where perhaps excuses for him that day and he should be worth another chance. He was a big drifter on the morning of the Dante, which could suggest he wasn’t A-Okay, so the fact he still grabbed fourth might not be as bad as it first seems.
He also stayed on well inside the final furlong and that is a good sign for stepping up another two furlongs in the Derby.
Don’t be put off by the jockey booking of Wayne Lordan either. He’s twice won the 1000 Guineas on ‘outsiders’ for Aidan O’Brien with Winter winning at 9/1 in 2017, and Hermosa at 14/1 last month.
Adding the ‘red-hot’ big race favourite to your ITV tips, might not always be the way to go.