Author: Alan Kelly
Published: 10:20 05/06/2014
Tomorrow sees the start of the two-day Investec Derby meeting with the Investec Oaks the highlight of the seven-race card but the best bet of the day comes in the opening contest at 1.35, the Group 3 Princess Elizabeth Stakes in which the high-class filly Just The Judge is expected to outclass the opposition at the 9-2 available with Skybet ( offering customers money back should the race go to the SP favourite which is likely to be Thistle Bird ) in the extended one mile contest.
The Charles Hills-trained daughter of Lawman has lost her way a little since running Sky Lantern to a neck in last season's Qipco 1000 Guineas after which she went one better in the Irish equivalent, easily beating Rehn's Nest and Just Pretending. A creditable third in Royal Ascot's Coronation Stakes was the last time we saw the real Just The Judge as for one reason or another she failed to run up to her best in two subsequent runs last year when down the field in Group 1 company at Goodwood and Newmarket.
Back to headquarters for her first run of 2014 the mount of Jamie Spencer finished a four length fifth to Mull Of Killough, a run which should put the filly spot on tomorrow, and under what is likely to be ideal conditions is confidently expected to recapture her form at the expence of chief rivals, the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Mango Diva and Thistle Bird from the Roger Charlton stable. The former won a Group 3 at Gowran Park last September and ran well when fourth at York on her seasonal reappearance but her overall form is way below that of the selection, who will be receiving 3lb from Ryan Moore's mount. Thistle Bird won this race 12 months ago but this looks a much stronger renewal and the Selkirk mare has failed to add to that victory in five subsequent starts and was a disappointing beaten favourite on her first run of the season last month.