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Adam McNamara on the Oaks and the Derby

View profile for Adam McNamara
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Adam looks forward to Wolverhampton

There’s some fantastic racing to look forward to this weekend, and the Oaks and Derby look to be incredibly open and intriguing contests.

You could make a case for seven or eight of the fillies in the Oaks. Emily Upjohn hails from the Gosden team and has been the most visually impressive of the field. The assistance of Frankie Dettori is naturally a bonus and the manner in which she put a decent field in their place in the Musidora has her as the rightful favourite for Friday's showpiece. Gosden's other charge, Nashwa, is drawn right next door under Hollie Doyle and she has to be the main danger. She may not have looked just as impressive as Emily Upjohn, but that’s not to say she hasn’t been impressive in her own right. She’s beaten a decent calibre of rivals this year and she’s my pick to take this. Hollie Doyle will be hunting for her maiden British classic and she’s been riding at the top of her game this year, setting the early pace in the jockeys' championship and this filly could give her that all important classic for her retainer Imad Al Sagar. Aidan O’Briens runners Tuesday and Concert Hall can’t be underestimated either, along with With the Moonlight for the 2000 Guineas winning combination of Appleby and Godolphin, but on pure potential the Gosden duo look the more likely to be there at the business end.

The Derby has thrown up quite a few surprises in the last few years, notably Serpentine and last year's winner Adayar, and this year's race can continue that trend with another open looking field. Desert Crown really impressed me in the Dante, where he won convincingly despite looking green. I think we’d all love to see Michael Stoute take the Derby, and I couldn’t think of a more popular winner from the weighing room then Richard Kingscote. My main issue with this lad is he’s only had two runs and both of those have been on flat tracks at Nottingham and York. Epsom is a completely different test, and is he can’t cope with the helter skelter rollercoaster here, there’s plenty of more experienced and classy opponents who can pounce. Stone Age and Nations Pride would be two such candidates, both having plenty of runs in different arenas and both also looking very progressive this year. It’s not easy to look past this three on bare form and potential but as the Derby has proven many times over, anyone can win.

For myself, I’m heading to Chepstow on Saturday evening for John O’Shea. My Opinion runs in the 7:35. I’ve been looking forward to throwing my leg back over this son of Pride of Dubai since he last ran in March and I’m sure he’s ready to take a big step forward. He ran very green on debut and last time out was still doing things the ran way yet still managed to finish a very encouraging fourth. The horses who finished second and third have both gone on to win since so the form is very solid. It’s his first run on turf this Saturday and as long as he handles that he’s got a great chance in a winnable looking race. I’m sure whatever the outcome he’s one to look forward to for the rest of the year in handicaps, as he’s a fine big rangy horse with plenty of room for improvement.

Harrowells offers specialist legal support to trainers, breeders, racecourses, owners and jockeys. Our sponsorship of professional jockey, Adam McNamara, is one of a number of initiatives undertaken in support of the horse racing industry.

Adam is not an employee of Harrowells Limited and is sponsored under a British Horseracing Authority (BHA) compliant sponsorship contract. The views he expresses in his blogs and on his social media accounts are his own.

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