Horse Racing: Epsom – Friday 31st May Tips and Betting Preview

It is another huge weekend in the racing scene with the next two classics taking place at Epsom on Friday and Saturday. The Betfred Derby takes centre stage on Saturday but the fillies run in the Betfred Oaks which is the feature on Friday.

This is one of those feature races which does offer up betting potential so we are going in with one in the big race and there are a couple of handicaps either side of it which have thrown up a bet to give us three on the day.

4.30 Epsom


Ahead of the Derby tomorrow, it’s the turn of the fillies as they head to the mile & a half start for the Oaks.  There’s a field of 12 with Aiden O’Brien’s Ylang Ylang the warm favourite.  She won the Group 1 Fillies Mile as a 2 year old & has only been out once this year, finishing a promising 5th in the 1000 Guineas.  This Frankel filly is likely to be very hard to beat if she stays the trip; most are saying it shouldn’t be an issue & she’ll improve for the longer distance but the fact she’s going half a mile further than she’s ever been must be a slight worry so the 6/4 on offer is too skinny for me.  Dermot Weld’s Ezeliya is a viable alternative having comfortably landed the Group 3 Salsabil Stakes last time out but price puts me off.  Fillies like Dance Sequence & Rubies Are Red can be given a chance but they’ve both shown a tendency to hang &, at a track like Epsom, that’s offputting.     Beyond the favourite, it looks open so, at big prices, I can see good performances from both You Got To Me & Treasure.


However, Forest Fairy is the one to carry our hopes.  She’s one of four for the stable & seems to be their first string.  Not seen on the track until February of this year, she hacked up over this trip in an egg & spoon race on the sand at Wolverhampton before being pitched into Listed company where she narrowly prevailed in the Cheshire Oaks.  Strictly on form, she has something to prove but she’s lightly raced, is the only unbeaten filly in the field & has proven stamina, having won twice in & around this distance.  This track should suit much better & it is fully expected that any juice in the ground will also bring about improvement.  Everything seems in place for a massive run & I’d be shocked if she wasn’t good enough to be in the shake up, knowing she’ll be going through the line as strong as any.


Back Forest Fairy (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 8.50 Betfred (⅕ odds 1-4)

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2.35 Epsom

A cracking handicap where chances can be given to any number in the field.  If his draw in 12 isn’t a hindrance, then Finn’s Charm is the one to be most interested in.  A winner of 2 of his 13 starts, this 4 year old has dropped to a tempting mark & is just 3lbs higher than his last win, a 4 length beating of Gincident on his seasonal reappearance last year.  His form did tail off somewhat after that but he was pitched into good company off a tough mark.  That said, he did manage to finish 2nd in the German 2000 Guineas & also finished a good 4th in a nice Newmarket handicap at the tail end of the season on ground too quick for him.  His reappearance run at Chester wasn’t without promise as he was drawn wide, ran over an inadequate trip & lost a shoe but still ran on well to grab 6th.   He was definitely the one to take from the race & now off 1lb lower, on his preferred ground & back over a more suitable trip, I see him running a huge race for last year’s winning yard, the one concern being a wider than ideal draw.


Back Finn’s Charm (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 10.00 Coral (⅕ odds 1-5)


5.40 Epsom

Another good handicap to end the day, this time over 7 furlongs, & I fancy Spanish Star to follow up his win in this very race from last year.  He’s now a 9 year old but he retains all his old ability & has twice run well this term finishing 4th on both occasions.  In the first of those, he was 4th of 16 just over half a length behind the winner but given they split into 2 groups & he was 1st of 9 on his side, leaving his mark on 90 was somewhat surprising.  Last time out, he kept on well for 4th at Goodwood over 6 furlongs & possibly found the ground a bit too deep.   He’s now been dropped 1lb to a mark of 89 & is 1lb below the mark he won off here 12 months ago.  After that win, he continued to go well off higher marks with a 5th in the Buckingham Palace & a 7th in the Stewards Cup.   The ground is perfect for him, he’s drawn well in 4 & is reunited with Tom Marquand who is 1 from 1 aboard.  Here’s hoping he doubles up in the lucky last.


Back Spanish Star (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 10.00 888sport (⅕ odds 1-4)

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