Matt Chapman is back and reflects on a memorable Oaks and Derby while looking at Sandown's mouthwatering Eclipse

SEEING is believing!

Serpentine won yesterday’s Investec Derby. Oh my. Oh my oh my oh my.

The talk before the race was about jockey bookings and a knowledge of Epsom. In the end the man who landed the Derby had never ridden at the track before! So much for jockeys making a difference.

One of my most common sayings on TV is “an uncontested lead is the most dangerous thing in racing”. Yesterday proved that once and for all.

Look, you can look at these things in two ways. Serpentine is the greatest Derby winner of all time, and Aidan O’Brien and his stable workers clearly have absolutely no idea what is going on.

Added to that, winning jockey Emmet McNamara is the best judge of pace in the game.

Or you can say Serpentine was in as a pacemaker. The other riders gave him a freebie on the front end and were made to look stupid.

Whatever way you want to take it, the 2020 Derby behind closed doors – at least to the public – was a finish of roughies, with Serpentine returning at 25-1, runner-up Khalifa Sat at 50-1 and third placed Amhran Na Bhfiann 66-1.

Kameko, the 2000 Guineas winner, didn’t get home in fourth and will surely be dropped back to a mile and a quarter in similar fashion to Roaring Lion, who was also owned by Sheikh Fahad.

English King was the one who finished best from a hopeless position. He’s still got a big future for Ed Walker, but was never placed to challenge under Frankie Dettori.

The Italian had, of course, replaced Tom Marquand who eventually finished in second place. Marquand will have had a rye smile in the car on the way home.

Only time will tell how good Serpentine is, although his success will have left many thinking a plunge into Lake Serpentine would not go amiss.

The son if Galileo might be an awesome animal. Whatever the case, super sire Galileo – a brilliant Derby hero himself, stamped his mark on the world’s greatest flat race once again.

An eighth Derby for O’Brien is the stuff of legends, and while there were stories in the race that would have made a journalist pen words of joy for a smaller operation, take nothing away from the master of Ballydoyle who is one of the greatest handlers the planet has ever seen.

O’Brien had, of course, landed the Oaks with Love.

Now she really could be a monster.

Today, at Sandown, Enable will be in the Eclipse. She will be bidding for three Arcs later in the campaign. Those closest to her now know that have new contenders to worry about.

Serpentine might be one. Love is most definitely another.

What a game this is.

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