HORSE RACING: Tips from the Colonel

Racing journalist Kevan Minter from Stamford, who was at Newbury paddocks when two race horses died on Saturday'Photo: SM150211-009js
Racing journalist Kevan Minter from Stamford, who was at Newbury paddocks when two race horses died on Saturday'Photo: SM150211-009js
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A TOTAL of 95 fillies have been entered for the £350,000 Group One Investec Oaks, highlight of Ladies Day at the Investec Derby Festival at Epsom Downs in June.

The figure is two more than the 2011 entry and way ahead of the 2010 total of 77.

Plenty of established performers feature among the contenders for the mile and a half Classic including the unbeaten Maybe, who posted a decisive success for her trainer Aidan O’Brien in the Group One Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh in August.

O’Brien’s 17 entries include Wading, an impressive winner of the Group Two Rockfel Stakes at Newmarket in October, exciting maiden winners Was and Kissed, who is a three-parts sister to last season’s stunning Investec Derby hero Pour Moi.

Charlie Hills is starting his first full season training since taking over from his father Barry and the Lambourn handler has a pair of potential Investec Oaks contenders including Hazel Lavery, who readily won a Newbury conditions race in September before finding only Samitar too good in a valuable sales race at Newmarket in October.

Hills has also entered the Hamdan Al Maktoum-owned Safarjal, who ran two promising races as a juvenile including when filling the runner-up spot on in a Newmarket maiden on her latest appearance in mid-October.

Hunt Ball a eight-lengh winner at Cheltenham last week could run next at Aintree in the Grade 1 Betfred Bowl, his trainer Keiran Burke told the Racing Post this week.

He said: “I think he’ll be better over further as he was rushed off his feet early on over two and a half miles at the festival.

“It would also give us more of an idea as to what we might be doing next season as we might face horses like Long Run, Burton Port or What A Friend at Aintree.”

The mighty Big Buck’s simply doesn’t no how to get beaten at Cheltenham or anywhere else and the only surprise to me was the starting price of 5-6 and touched 6-4 in-running, this was a very gutsy win and has equalled the all-time jumps record of 16 consecutive victories, set 60 years ago by Sir Ken it would be no surprise to me to see him reach 20 straight wins in the hands of Ruby Walsh.

Bow To No One ( 5-4 favourite ) a winner at Warwick on Wednesday for Alan Jarvis in a Handicap Hurdle will win again next time out judged on her easy victory.

At Lingfield on Saturday in the 2.15 (Group 3 ) Blue Square Winter Derby I have had a good bet on Premio Loco at 9-2, Chris Wall’s smart 8yo is the subject of glowing reports the in-form George Baker takes the ride.

Visit www.betwiththecolonel.co.uk for the Colonel’s tips.

TOP racing tipster Kevan Minter, known as The Colonel, gives Mercury readers his top tips for the week ahead. Kevan, who lives in Stamford, is trackside most days, is regularly seen on TV and runs his own website www. betwiththe colonel.co.uk