Matt Chapman: My Saturday tips, Godolphin vs Coolmore and prayers for Josh Moore who remains in critical condition

Matt Chapman: My Saturday tips, Godolphin vs Coolmore and prayers for Josh Moore who remains in critical condition

May 6, 2022

FIRST the Dubai divisions swept into town as Godolphin wiped out all before them.

Then, this week, the might of Ireland re-grouped as Coolmore countered with venom.

As a result, the Flat season is now all set for a right old smash-up between racing's super powers. Bring it on lads, bring it on.

On the back of a magnificent 2021 which saw trainer Charlie Appleby recognised as the world's No 1 handler, Godolphin appeared to have become even stronger – rather than plateaued out – once the Classic trials started last month.

New Science bagged the Free Handicap, while champion juvenile Native Trail was imperious in the Craven. Wild Beauty picked up the Fred Darling, Nahanni the Blue Riband Trial and With the Moonlight the Pretty Polly.

Chappers’ tips

1.45 Ascot

Just Hubert each way

2.05 Lingfield

Marlay Park

2.20 Ascot

Al Aasy

2.40 Lingfield

Walk Of Stars

3.00 Haydock

Severance each way

3.15 Lingfield

Emily Dickinson

3.30 Ascot

Spirit Of The Bay each way

3.50 Lingfield

She Do

4.05 Ascot

One Ruler NAP each way

And mixed amongst that lot was Master of the Seas in the Group 3 Earl of Sefton and, of course, Coroebus was immense on return in defeating Native Trail in the Group 1 Qipco 2000 Guineas.

Coolmore's Aidan O'Brien sent over a few sighters early doors with little success.

But that started to change when major Derby hope Luxembourg – now suffering from a minor setback – was a solid third in the 2000 Guineas, and was turned on its head over the last few days at Chester.

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Thoughts of June looked terrific in the Cheshire Oaks, and then Derby possibles Changingoftheguard and Star of India sluiced in the Group 3 Chester Vase and Listed Dee Stakes.

Coolmore now dominate betting on the Cazoo Derby, although to what extent depends much on the wellbeing of Luxembourg.

That might all change on Saturday afternoon, though, when Godolphin try to strike back with Walk of Stars who puts his big-race claims to the test in the Listed SBK Derby Trial at Lingfield.

A son of Dubawi, Walk of Stars was very green on debut at Newmarket when third in October, but went on to hack up in a minor event at Nottingham. The close relative to top class Nathaniel then came back this season with a battling win in a three-runner affair at Newbury defeating Hafit narrowly. The latter has since been stuffed in Listed company in France so Walk of Stars needs to have come on bundles.

O'Brien saddles United Nations against Walk of Stars, and he gives Appleby a line of form as the Galileo colt was down the field behind Nahanni at Epsom.

Appleby also has Natural World in the Derby Trial, and the Frankel three-year-old is not to be ignored as he made all in good style when first seen at Newbury.

Despite that, Walk of Stars is the one to beat in a race that has thrown up nine Derby heroes including Teenoso, Slip Anchor, Kahyasi, High-Rise and Anthony Van Dyk.

If Godolphin take the Derby Trial then Coolmore will expect to be hard to stop in the Listed Oaks equivalent via Emily Dickinson, named after an America poet who is seen as one of the most important figures of her trade in US history.

O'Brien's hope is a Dubawi offspring, and landed a maiden at Naas in April when looking in need of a step up to this distance. Opposition does not look that strong here, and Emily Dickinson will have to power clear to reduce her price for the Epsom Oaks of 25-1.

Stable companion Tuesday, third in the 1000 Guineas, currently tops that market at a general 7-2 with brilliant Sandown scorer Emily Upjohn at 4-1.

Meanwhile, I hope the Moore family – dad Gary, mum Jane, jockeys Ryan and Jamie as well as Sky presenter Hayley – feel the love all of racing has for them and their son and brother Josh who remains seriously ill in hospital after a horrible fall.

Reports on Josh have gone quiet in recent days, although Ryan has been riding at Chester where Hayley has also been broadcasting.

I have no update I can bring you as there comes a time when you feel terrible continually asking the latest, so like you I am just praying for a positive press release from the Injured Jockeys' Fund.

Josh is in critical care at Aintree University Hospital after complications from a chest infection.

He had undergone successful surgery on a broken femur following a fall from Gleno at the sixth fence in a veterans' chase at Haydock when the 30-year-old also sustained broken ribs, a punctured lung and damage to his back.

The Moores are a great racing family. A great family. All we can do is pray.

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