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By Billy Blakeman ValueChecker

Derby Favourite Carlton House in Injury Scare

The Queen's Carlton House has suffered a minor injury with just days to go until the Epsom Derby! Sensational is not the right word to describe such negative news which has seen the horse drift out with most bookmakers, with 2/1 on offer from Boylesports. The reaction on the exchanges has been even more dramatic, with odds greater than 3/1 being offered and taken during Tuesday's trading.

Carlton House
© Racehorse Photos

Carlton House

A statement was given to the press by Her Majesty's Racing Manager, John Warren;

"At evening stables on Monday night Sir Michael noted that his front joints were not a pair and this morning he decided to take a precautionary x-ray of his near-fore joint which was the one that was marginally filled. It revealed no abnormalities which was a huge relief. He decided to give the horse just a trotting exercise this morning and he was sound and he's having an easy day. It will be a watching brief from now on. A small potential strain is the probability of what it was, just tweaked it a little, and hopefully he'll resume regular exercise for the rest of the week which will only involve cantering rather than anything faster. I would say at this point, from what I understand the injury to be, he has a pretty good chance of being there. The next few days will obviously reveal a little more but the trainer is optimistic and hopeful that the horse is still on target."

Experience tells me that with races at the highest level, whilst connections may put on a brave face, late injury scares are usually fatal to a horse's chance and although I have been patting myself on the back with prices from 10/1 downwards, I have baled out swiftly. Another tip is required then, and although all the market leaders can be fancied, none tempt me particularly. Instead, I am going to go with a big outsider, Nathaniel, each-way.

John Gosden trains this Galileo colt who is superbly well related, being a half brother to five horses rated 111 or more. On his juvenile debut, he was a mere half-length behind Frankel and on his debut this year, he was just pipped by Treasure Beach on a track that didn't seem to suit him especially well. Needs to find something from that but he is sure to have more to come and it will be interesting if he takes his chance here, with the King Edward the VII at Royal Ascot the stated preffered route to a tilt at the St Leger.

Recommendation: Nathaniel (e/w) at 40/1


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