There was a shock to some serious backers in Wednesday’s Tattersalls Musidora Stakes (Group 3) when Aidan O’Brien’s Snowfall obliged at 14/1. The 11/10 favourite Noon Star was 3 ¾ lengths back in second with 15/8 Teona half a length further back in third. Instagram horse racing fans have latched on to an account @thepunter2020 which is the handle for professional punter Martin Raymond. Martin has been sharing his life and tipping ‘wheelbarrow jobs’ on the site for a while now. 

He has been backer of the third-placed Teona for the Oaks since she bolted up at Newcastle on the all-weather. Before Wednesday’s race he told his followers that he was backing her again and hoping for a good win to stamp her authority and chance for Epsom. Sadly for ‘The Punter’ and his followers it was not to be. He was wounded but still confident posting on his account ‘Morning Guys, I’m still in a daze over Teona. Total farce of a race, they crawled so she pulled like a nutcase. I’m still very hopeful in the Oaks on 4th June’. 

Luckily for ‘The Punter’ and his followers, her trainer Roger Varian was of a similar mind, he’s still going to give her a chance to have a crack at the race. He told Racing TV, ‘It was a muddling race and not much of a trial, I don’t think, in terms of how it was run. We look at it as a trial, it was not her main seasonal goal. It has given her a day out and got some of the fizz out of her. When you’re a little bit fresh and keen and they’re going so slow up front, it’s very hard to win. I thought after they had gone one furlong that she would struggle to win, but she shaped well and moved up nicely and will come on for the run. I should think that we’ll still look at the Oaks. I’ve lost no faith in her. She is a very good filly and hopefully she’ll prove that in time. We put a line through the Musidora in terms of the result. But we learnt plenty, and it did her good to get a day out, so it wasn’t a complete loss.

Teona is a best-price 10/1 chance with bookmakers for the Oaks, Aidan O’Brien’s Santa Barbara is the 9/4 favourite at time of typing. 

On Thursday the Derby picture was muddied further when Hurricane Lane made his Cazoo sponsored qualifications when scrapping bravely under William Buick to land the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes for trainer Charlie Appleby and owners Godolphin. 

Talking after the race, the winning rider, talking about his mount’s Derby prospects said ‘He’s got a great temperament for a big horse and is a good mover. It was lovely ground and he’s jumped and travelled well and stayed well, so he ticks a lot of the boxes. I was a bit worried Hollie’s horse had got away from them, but once I saw he was stopping, I was confident our horse would keep galloping and that’s what he’s done. He’s proven he’s got stamina in abundance and the step up in trip at Epsom should suit him. I’ve been on the phone to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed and he was pleased, so as long as the horse comes out of it fit and well, it is the obvious place to go.’ 

Hurricane Lane is a top-priced 15/2 for the Derby with Bolshoi Ballet heading the market at 7/4.

Simon Nott


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