It is a big weekend of racing in the UK as we have two more classics taking place with the most famous flat race of them all on the horizon. The Betfred Derby comes along on Saturday but it is the chance for the fillies to shine on Friday in the Betfred Oaks.
A very good support card has been put together at Epsom on Friday which is handy because the big race itself isn’t one which catches our eye from a betting point of view. Thankfully two handicaps offer better betting potential.
The first handicap on the card is a Class 2 event at just a shade over a mile, and there are 13 heading to post. All The Kings Men is favourite but this is his first time in this grade and he’s been steadily rising in the weights despite failing to win on his last 3 starts. Rhoscolyn won on his previous start at this track but recent form isn’t inspiring whilst Revich, second in this last year, has a 6lb higher mark than his last start when winning at the Chester May meeting. Austrian Theory should not be underestimated for Charlie Johnston if he can build on a promising effort last week whilst Hodler would have claims if he stays the trip.
Orbaan – He might be an 8 year old now but the selection is not to be discounted in this company. He’d look to hold every chance off a mark of 97 judged on his form last summer where he won the incredibly competitive Golden Mile off 10lb lower but by a very impressive 3.5 lengths before following up in a conditions event at Ascot. He was then 4th of 18 in the Clipper Logistics and 2nd of 11 in this grade at Goodwood, both of marks of 99, before closing with a 5th of 20 off a mark of 100 in Balmoral. With so much form in so many top handicaps, it’s just impossible to write him off here. Furthermore, his 2 disappointments this year are easy to overlook as he’s yet to run well after an absence and all of his best form has come on fast ground. He’ll love conditions today and will also appreciate the step back up to a mile where 4 of his 5 career wins have come. In fact, his last 4 runs over this trip have seen finishes of 2-1-4-5, the latter 2 in big fields where we’d have been paid out on the place element. With an easing mark seeing him just 2lbs higher than his last win, it’s too soon to write him off & he should go well on a track that suits.
Back Orbaan (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 15.00 William Hill BOG (⅕ odds 1-4)
Back it here:
Open up a Boylesports account during the flat season and bet £10 on any race to get £20 in bonuses! Click the image below to take advantage of this fantastic offer! 18+ T&Cs apply Gamble Aware.
Despite a field of 11, this Class 2 handicap over a mile and a quarter has a real competitive feel to it. The Gosden’s have the favourite in Honiton who won last time out at Newmarket. Whilst more progress is expected, a rise in grade and 4lb higher mark are slight concerns & he isn’t one to be going overboard on at odds of around 4/1. Last year’s Cambridgeshire winner Majestic could go well but has a length to find with Marhaba The Champ on their York run. A 2lb swing should help. Masekela is an interesting one having finished 4th in last year’s Derby here but hasn’t gone on from that & has plenty to prove.
Cadillac – At tasty odds, I like the each way chances of this one. After 7 months off, he was a very disappointing 15th on his reappearance but there are reasons to excuse that, the main one being that he’s no lover of ground on the slow side of good. Form of 15th (of 17), 3rd of 4, 6th of 7, 6th of 10, 5th of 14 and 2nd of 8 (when odds on) is a clear indicator that the surface isn’t for him. It will be much quicker today which should bring about plenty of improvement given he’s won 4 of his 11 starts on good or better including Listed, Group 3 and Group 2 events. The trainer also opts for headgear and that’s had a previous career positive with first time blinkers leading to an almost 4 length Listed win last summer and the 2 subsequent runs in them resulting in a pair of runners-up spots, also in Listed events. It’s the cheekpieces that go on today and if they can prompt an upturn in fortunes, coupled with a lower mark and better ground, he looks a nice each way bet in an open race.
Back Cadillac (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 15.00 William Hill BOG (⅕ odds 1-4)
Back it here:
The big race of the day is the 3rd Classic of the season, the Oaks run over a mile and a half. This middle distance fillies classic has basically been a race for either Aiden O’Brien or the Gosdens with the pair landing the last 9 runnings between them. They are responsible for the 1-2-3 in the market in the shape of Savethelastdance (O’Brien), Soul Sister (Gosden) and Running Lion (Gosden). All 3 hold solid credentials and with bookies mainly paying 3 places only, it’s hard to really find anything at a bigger price worthy of investment. One last point to note is that the last 8 winners had all gone off at 8/1 or shorter so it really is a race to just sit back and enjoy.