A few brief thoughts to cover the Oaks and the Derby at Epsom – other commitments prevent me doing a full preview for the meeting.
Fears of soft ground now look to be receding, and ‘good’ looks likely to prevail at time of writing
Friday – Epsom Oaks
Marvellous’s Irish Guineas win appears best form on view but after some hefty quotes of around 8/1 after that win she is now rightly favourite at around 3/1. She ought to be suited by the longer trip
That price is probably about right and better value than Taghrooda, who vies for favourite spot but whose winning form last time has been given no boosts at all by those that she beat. She remains having plenty of potential but too short for me to touch at current odds.
Ihtimal and Volume are likeable types but I feel that 10 furlongs may be their optimum trip. The latter was described as ‘unlikely to be suited by Epsom’ after her latest win – similar comments made by trainer about Marsh Daisy after her Goodwood win – yet both are here. That kind of implies to me that owner pressure may be the reason for their inclusion.
I put up Inchila as an Ante Post bet for the race a while back and though she disappointed behind Volume she got a much worse ride than the winner – she was also subsequently found to be in season. Her maiden win form has been advertised since by those that she beat and lines through that make her similar to Honor Bound and Madame Chiang. Those two are shorter though which still makes Inchila a value outsider for me at 50/1
Of the more fancied runners though, it is Tarfasha who appeals most. The ground is seemingly coming round her way (wouldn’t have wanted soft) and her breeding strongly suggests she needs this trip – half brother Galileo Rock narrowly failed in the Derby and St Leger last year. Dermot Weld’s conviction to run here, despite the owner having Taghrooda, has to be respected. With 17 runners in the field I would add that it will be a minor miracle if we don’t get some hard luck stories about traffic problems in this race!
*Already recommended 0.75 pts ew Inchila 50/1 (take that with 365 now if not already with their ¼ 1234)
Will add to that with 1pt ew Tarfasha @15/2 (Sky, Stan James – no extra place available with those as yet)
My outside fancy for the race, Snow Sky was pulled out earlier today and I’m left with a race where nothing really jumps out as value
There are shades of another previous Ballydoyle winner, The Minstrel , in Australia for me. He too was a top 2yo who was just beaten for speed in the Guineas and needed a step up in distance to show his true worth – but he did come to Epsom a 5/1 shot. Australia’s rivals may be of lower quality but he still looks a skinny price (as low as 5/4) – although he does look the likeliest winner. I can see the layers trying to push him further and if more than 2/1 became available it might be the time to consider an interest.
Of his rivals, there is no stand out. Kingston Hill doesn’t scream as a stayer on his breeding. Australia’s stable companions may provide most opposition and if I were pushed then Orchestra would get my vote for the betting without the fav market. I wouldnt be too concerned that he was the perceived third string in jockey bookings – Seamie Heffernan won the Oaks with Was in similar circumstances and the stable’s Treasure Beach was just touched off by Pour Moi after appearing to be least fancied of the O’Brien runners
It looks a no betting race for me but verdict for what it’s worth is:
3 Western Hymn
No other races appealing on Friday’s card but if anything stands out on Friday night for Saturday I will add onto the blog then
Good luck all over the weekend
Additional selections for Saturday:
3.15 Epsom – The Epsom Dash
Run over the quickest 5 furlong track in the world I would suggest that Even Stevens and Caspian Prince are going to the two to watch coming out of the gate. With his ideal draw in 20, Even Stevens is worth a small ew at 12/1 given the enormous early pace he showed at York last week. As both are drawn high I feel that this could tow Taajub into a decent position from stall 19. He has good form in the past here from worse draws (ignore last run where he broke a blood veseel). So at 20/1 he is also suggested.
Some firms offer 1/4 odds 12345 so use that if you can
suggested 0.5 pts ew each Evens Stevens @ 12/1 and 0.5 pts ew Taajub @20/1