25/1 about Trading Leather for the Derby is tempting

Anyone else blown away by the performance of Jim Bolger’s Trading Leather at Gowran Park last Sunday?

Yes, he only won a lowly maiden and until some of the horses that finished behind start to reappear we won't know whether the form is any good or not.

But there was a style and swagger about the display that had me immediately thinking ‘live Derby candidate’.

No sooner had the thought crossed my mind than a text arrived from the man who doesn't miss a trick, Stan James' Joe Burke, quoting Trading Leather at 20-1 to win at Epsom.

In normal circumstances one reads an offering like that and then doesn't give it a whole lot more consideration.

After all, the Derby is so far away - next June - and so much water has to flow under the proverbial bridge in the meantime.

But there are occasions when you sit and ponder for a while and calculate what finding a massive winner such as this - he’s 25-1 in other places - can mean to the bank balance.

The bottom line is that for relatively small money the return would be enormous and the notion that Trading Leather could actually win the Epsom Derby is far from just fanciful.

He was thrown in at the deep end on his debut in a valuable Listed event at Leopardstown and went off at 14-1 in a six-horse race.

Trading Leather signalled that he had real potential by finishing a length and three parts second behind Aidan O'Brien's Battle Of Marengo.

Then at Gowran, the colt showed he had greatly progressed for the initial experience with a particularly taking display.

He bounced away in front and kept finding more and more up the straight to score by seven lengths, at the end of a mile.

The son of Teofilo had 15 rivals strung out behind and time may well reveal that he beat a bunch of imposters, donkeys masquerading as racehorses.

But until we know better here's one who is inclined to take a chance that this fellow may be the real deal. I mean what do we stand to lose at odds between 25-1 and 20’s?

He is, for instance, a much bigger price than his stable companion, Dawn Approach, who has no chance of getting a mile and a half and, we can be certain, won't be asked to even attempt such a journey.

Trading Leather is by Teofilo, who was himself favourite in 2007 for both the 2000 Guineas and the Derby.

Teofilo was the champion two-year-old of 2006, unbeaten in five races, including the National Stakes at the Curragh and the Dewhurst at Newmarket. But injury prevented him from ever racing again beyond his juvenile days.

Trading Leather's dam is Night Visit and the fact she is by Sinndar would indicate that stamina, allied to plenty of speed, is what this lad is all about.

I had to smile this week reading about the gamble with Boylesports on Camelot for next weekend's Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp.

In the immortal of words of John McEnroe, “you cannot be serious” If Camelot doesn't run then the firm will give you your money back and, in the light of that concession, punters have, apparently, been running around backing the horse.

Well, if that's actually the case then said punters must have buckets of old dosh to be tossing about and no wonder off-course bookmakers are cleaning up.

Camelot is freely available at 6-1 for the 'Arc, but such has been the weight of money with Boylesports that they are only going 4-1.

You'd have to laugh. I don't know of any proper punter who fancies the horse and here's one who wouldn't back him at 16-1.

He couldn't beat a bunch of genets in the St Leger at Doncaster and they were three-year-old genets at that. So, if given the green light to contest the 'Arc, how could anyone be confident of him coping with not just his own age group, but with some of the best older horses in the world to boot?

That was a puzzling display by Gordon Elliott's Plan A when finishing second behind Special Tiara in a beginners’ chase at Ballinrobe on Monday.

His rider, Mark Walsh, seemed reluctant to give the outside to anyone else, the horse was only ninth going out into the country for the final time and was nearest at the end, beaten a length.

David Jennings, in his analysis in the Racing Post, didn't duck the issue. Said Jennings: “For a horse that travelled so sweetly in a Galway Hurdle, run at a frantic pace from the start, it was strange to see him so far out of his ground with a circuit to run. With the winner out on his feet after the last, he looked like he might get there, but his rider decided against giving him a few backhanders and he couldn't reel him in.”

Yes indeed, puzzling.

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