Investec Oaks day at Epsom and the weather is set fair for a highly competitive day’s racing on the famous downs.
14 fillies are due to line up for the main event at 4.30 and there are no prizes for guessing which trainer is supplying the favourite. Mr O’Brien has four runners, with the ‘selected’ Pink Dogwood, the mount of Ryan Moore.
All we have to go on is a win in a Listed contest at Navan at the end of April, which at least confirms the daughter of Camelot has trained on. There is no doubt at all that the trainer knows the time of day, but the bald form just ain’t good enough, so we will select the horse that is close to usurping the Ballydoyle runner at the head of the market.
Mehdaayih won the Cheshire Oaks at the beginning of this month by an impressive 4+ lengths, the same ‘warm up’ race won by John Gosden‘s wonder filly Enable and has been unsurprisingly supplemented for this.
The win at Chester was achieved before the wet stuff got into the ground, so today’s somewhat quicker conditions shouldn’t be a problem and, from Trap 6, Robert Havlin should be able to pick his spot before quickening away in the straight. That’s the theory, anyway, and we recommend a win bet at 11-4.
The card begins with the Investec Woodcote EBF Stakes at 2.00 and the favourite in this is a bit of a stand-out. Pinatubo, trained by Charlie Appleby, breezed home on his racecourse debut just 3 weeks ago in the manner of a high class animal and with the second and third marmalising the opposition next time out, this son of Shamardal looks definitely Group class.
The manner of that victory is reflected in the price, but possibly the 11-10 on offer will turn out to be a gift, so we recommend a lumpy lash.
First of the two televised handicaps is at 2.35 and the Investec Mile Handicap has a field of 14 and it’s 6-1 the field.
Our selection is, perhaps, an ‘over the cliff’ job, but we must give one final chance to History Writer to fulfil the promise and potential it always seems to show. A close third at Sandown just 8 days ago, HW runs off the same mark today and, at 8-1, just has to be the pick. Sorry, in advance.
The Group 1 Investec Coronation Cup at 3.10 sees Kew Gardens as favourite at 5-2 and, although we respect the Ballydoyle challenger, we are of a mind to oppose him with Old Persian at 100-30.
Charlie Appeby‘s 4-y-o has the distinct look of a massive improver this season, having already taken the Group 1 Sheema Classic over at Meydan at the end of March, trousering a mere £2,834,646 for Godolphin in the process.
The owners have used some of the pot to supplement Old Persian for this race and, with a defeat of Kew Gardens at York last year already in the book, this is the value bet.
Televised racing is completed by the Investec Wealth & Investment Handicap at 3.45 and we think the key form-line in this is the Newmarket handicap at the start of this month, which was won by Elector, with Jazeel close up in second. The handicapper has raised Elector by 2lbs and Jazeel by one and this could be a lenient assessment, bearing in mind both horses were having their first runs of the season.
We suggest a win bet on Elector at 3-1 and an each way be on Jazeel at 7-1.
That’s about it – off to watch Chris Gayle make a double hundred – or maybe not.
Meydaayih 4.30 Epsom 4pts win @ 11-4
Pinatubo 2.00 Epsom 6pts win @ 11-10
History Writer 2.35 Epsom 1pt e/w @ 8-1 (4 places)
Old Persian 3.10 Epsom 3pts win @ 100-30
Elector 3.45 Epsom 2pts win @ 3-1
Jazeel 3.45 Epsom 1pt e/w @ 7-1