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Dublin: 4 °C Tuesday 25 February, 2020

Weekend tips: Broome can cement O'Brien's greatness with seventh Epsom Derby victory

Galileo looms large on tomorrow’s Classic, writes Thom Malone.

Broome and Donnacha O'Brien after winning the Derrinstown.
Broome and Donnacha O'Brien after winning the Derrinstown.
Image: PA Wire/PA Images

AIDAN O’BRIEN IS mob-handed in his quest for a seventh Derby win this weekend.

Were the Ballydoyle handler to win both the Epsom Classics over the next few days he will complete a type of horseracing Tiger-slam.

Kew Gardens, won last year’s St Leger to start the potential slam. Hermosa and Magna Grecia did the business at Newmarket. So if the Oaks and Derby are landed by two of the twelve runners from Ballydoyle, the greatest trainer of modern times can emulate the greatest golfer of modern times. Tiger held all of the major titles back in 2000 and 2001.

Fittingly, O’Brien won his first Derby in 2001, the same year Tiger wrapped up his major full house, albeit with an asterisk as it spread over two seasons. Galileo took the Epsom classic and set in motion the new Ballydoyle legacy.

O’Brien’s debut Derby winner is now the dominant stallion in global breeding and his influence is overwhelming in this year’s line up. The Derby field of thirteen has six sons of Galileo, five sons of sons of Galileo, and a great-grandson of Galileo.

Ironically, the favourite Sir Dragonet is the only runner with none of the great sire’s influence in his pedigree. Having previously tipped Line of Duty for the race, it is time to reconsider.

His performance was poor in the Dante, and looks unlikely to progress beyond those that finished ahead of him come Saturday. In the Derby, Broome (16.30 Saturday, Epsom — 9/2) is one of the sons of the sons of Galileo, being sired by Derby winner Australia.

He looks nicely progressive and incredibly relaxed both crucial factors at Epsom. He swept up the two major Irish trials, the Derrinstown and Ballysax Stakes in impressive fashion. It’s time to pick up Broome for the Derby.

The second fillies’ Classic, the Oaks goes to post on Friday and again O’Brien saddles the market topper in the shape of Pink Dogwood. Tarnawa (16.30 Friday, Epsom — 33/1) was not beaten far behind Pink Dogwood at Navan, before following up nicely in the Blue Wind at Naas.

It’s a stretch to say Tarnawa can progress past the favourite but she beat a solid yardstick last time, had excuses at Navan, will love the extra distance and the trainer rarely travels abroad unless he has the ammunition. Dermot Weld had his only Oaks triumph at Epsom in 1981, Tarnawa looks like the kind of filly who could change that. At the prices, she is worth an each way bet.

Darley Yorkshire Oaks & Ladies Day - Yorkshire Ebor Festival - York Racecourse Lah Ti Dar, ridden by Frankie Dettori. Source: Tim Goode

The Coronation Cup at 3.10 on Friday sees a rematch of last year’s St Leger head to head. Lah ti Dar (15.10 Friday, Epsom — 4/1) succumbed to Kew Gardens at Doncaster over the longer trip that day. The race looks a relative match between the two at the top of the market.

She is a full brother to Too Darn Hot so won’t lack for pace and was favourite for last year’s Oaks before being ruled out through injury. Given the prices and Lah ti Dar’s best from is on this going, John Gosden’s filly looks the bet.

Sir Michael Stoute’s Elector (15.45 Friday, Epsom — 10/3) looks well handicapped in the 3.45. The Queen’s son of Dansili only got a two pound penalty for his win at Newmarket last time out. Sir Michael Stoute’s yard could hardly be in better form of late and his horses generally come on for the run.

This horse kept very isstrous company last year, rubbing shoulders with several group winners. Elector could be a somewhat ironically named Royal winner on Derby weekend.

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