Find all previous Seymour Biz racing previews in his weekly column: Saturday Horse Racing Tips.
It’s Derby Day and the ITV have really gone to town by devoting their whole afternoon to cover the complete Epsom card with the first two races on the main channel and the final six on ITV4. But they won’t have much time to give a big build-up to the big race as they did with the Grand National as the Derby is the second race on the card because they don’t want a clash with the Cup Final so the rest of the card might appear to be an anticlimax.
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But I don’t think that is the case as the final five races are all handicaps giving punters a chance to find some value and back a big-priced winner. So here are my thoughts as we look forward to an exciting afternoon’s racing along with this week’s Lucky Fifteen.
Epsom Lucky Fifteen
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I will begin with the Betfred Derby at 1.30 where the favourite will probably be A P O’Brien’s Auguste Rodin on the strength of his 2-year-old form when he won the Futurity at Doncaster last October. But he flopped in the 2000Gns at Newmarket last month after suffering some interference in the first two furlongs. If he was a champion, he should have been able to recover from that. Added to that all his wins have come on soft/heavy/yielding going.
Vying for favouritism will be John and Thady Gosden’s Arrest who will have the Frankie Factor with Dettori aboard and how the Italian would love to add a third Derby to his formidable list of winners after his win in the Chester Vase but he is another who likes some cut underfoot.
Andrew Balding’s The Foxes won the Dante at York and winners of that race have a great record in the Derby. He can go close.
Behind him beaten a neck was JJ Murphy’s White Birch and I was impressed with him that day but he would also like softer going.
Sir Michael Stoute’s Passenger is touted as the winner by some as he was finishing like a train in the Dante after searching for racing room, but I can’t see much to get excited about in his form.
I like John Harrinton’s Sprewell who comes here after wins at Leopardstown and Naas. He would probably like it softer but should act on good going.
As an active outsider, Roger Varian’s King Of Steel comes here without a prep run after misbehaving in the stalls at York. He is reputed to have trained on after his seventh in last year’s Futurity. He may be placed at a big price but I’ll side with Sprewell.
At 2.45 it’s the Aston Martin 3-Year-Old “Dash” Handicap a 5-furlong sprint for young horses. John Quinn’s JM Jungle could go off favourite. He has run consistently well this season. However, he does seem to find it difficult to get his head in front.
Michael Dods runs a couple with chances Zuffalo and Tatterstall. The former won at Redcar last month and Tatterstall won on the all-weather at Wolverhampton but then ran poorly at York.
Adrian Nicholls’s Can To Can was an all-weather winner at Newcastle last month and can be placed here.
Jack Channon’s Betweenthesticks was busy as a 2-year-old running fifteen times and winning on three occasions. On his latest run, he was beaten a neck by Andrew Balding’s Estate who is 2lbs better off here and is my idea of the winner.
The Aston Martin “Dash” Handicap is at 3.20. This 5-furlong sprint is for older horses and is always very competitive. Top weight is Karl Burke’s Silky Wilkie who has won twice already this season. He has since been tried a couple of times in Group races without success and seems to have plenty of weight here.
Robert Cowell’s Clarendon House ran fifth at York last month and had Alligator Alley, Lord Riddiford and Mountain Peak behind him. I expect him to confirm those placings and he can hit the frame here.
Cowell’s other runner is Angle Land who won at Goodwood last month and has also won twice on the all-weather she will be competitive.
Richard Fahey is very astute when placing his horses in races such as this and he runs Vintage Clarets he can be placed here.
My thoughts are with Lihou who was second behind Angle Land at Goodwood last time. David Evans’s gelding has been ultra-competitive this term and will be 4 lbs better off with Angle Land. He needs to step up in class but that is entirely possible given his current form.
I will finish with the last race on the card at 5.05 the JRA Tokyo Trophy Handicap, a 6-furlong sprint. John Quinn’s Mr Wagyu has been a star for the yard and won this last year but he has looked a pale shadow of his former self so far this season plus he has 2lbs more than last year.
Apollo One trained by P Charalambous and J Clutterbuck is one of the top weights. He ran third behind the other top weight, Jennie Candlish’s Probe, at Newmarket in May. Apollo One is 7 lbs better off here, so is expected to reverse that form.
Badri is having a good season for trainer Ruth Carr with three wins and can be placed here.
Jack Channon’s Indian Creak is a course winner but he hasn’t won outside Windsor since 2019. He was beaten by Hughie Morrison’s Haymaker two weeks ago at his favourite course and Haymaker must have every chance on the back of that effort and he is the selection.
Epsom Lucky Fifteen
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