Mike Oldfield‘s 1975 somewhat monotonous hit leads us appropriately into today’s televised racing, the first day of the Epsom Derby meeting.
The first five races on the card are being covered and we go last to first with the Cazoo Oaks at 4.30.
The Gosdens supply the first two in the betting with Emily Upjohn and Nashwa at 6-4 and 7-2 respectively but we think the Irish form is stronger.
Aiden O’Brien supplies four of the eleven strong field, with Tuesday the chosen mount of Ryan Moore. Four times in the past decade AO’B has supplied the winner of this race with horses NOT ridden by RM and we think history might repeat itself this afternoon.
Concert Hall, the mount of Seamie Heffernan won a Listed contest at Navan over a mile and a quarter in April before finishing strongly to be third over a mile in the Irish 1000 Guineas, half a length behind Tuesday and there is little doubt that the step up to 12 furlongs will suit.
Thoughts Of June defeated Above The Curve at Chester and that horse came out to win a Group 1 in France last Sunday, so is likely to give Wayne Lordan a chance to shine.
We suggest each way bets on both these young ladies at 9-1 and 12-1.
First up on the card is the Cazoo Woodcote Stakes at 2.00, which, historically, is a draw dominated race. No horse has won this from a trap higher than 5 for as long as you can remember so, with two of the first four market leaders drawn 11 & 12 we recommend an each way bet on the stall 3 runner Blatant.
Eve‘s colt was impressive when trying six furlongs for the first time at Leicester, coming right away from his field and, although that form has yet to be tested, an each way bet at 9-1 is suggested.
The first of two handicaps is the World Pool Handicap at 2.35 and we pick two against the field, starting with our old friend Oh This Is Us.
Made the frame for this column at Chester last week, when things could have fallen better and almost exactly a year ago, OTIU won the Diodem Stakes over today’s CD with an official mark of 113. Today this sprightly 9-y-o runs in a handicap off 92 – go figure and back it each way at 13-2.
Our other pick is Fantastic Fox, trained by Roger Varian. A very promising reappearance after 7 months off should have put this 4-y-o spot on for today and we should go each way at 10-1.
Back to Group 1 action at 3.10 for the Coronation Cup, which has joint favourites at 2-1 in Pyledriver and Manobo.
Of the two, we prefer the chances of Manobo, which lost its unbeaten record at Meydan last time out when stepped up to 2 miles for the first time. Back to a mile and a half is a good move and we recommend backing Charlie Appleby‘s runner.
The Cazoo Handicap at 3.45 completes the day’s action and we start with a win bet on the (worthy) favourite Moktasaab at 3-1.
Unbeaten in two runs since joining Bill Knight‘s yard, this 4-y-o should be able to cope with a 5lb rise for its Goodwood victory, which was comfortable.
Just in case, though, we should also have an each way bet on the horse that finished second in that race and will be given a better ride today with Tom Marquand booked. Caradoc the name, 7-1 the price.
Back tomorrow for the you-know-what.
Concert Hall 4.30 Epsom 1pt e/w @ 9-1 (4 places bet365/Skybet)
Thoughts Of June 4.30 Epsom 1pt e/w @ 12-1 (4 places bet365/Skybet)
Blatant 2.00 Epsom 1pt e/w @ 9-1 (4 places Hills/bet365/Betfair)
Oh This Is Us 2.35 Epsom 1pt e/w @ 13-2 (5 places)
Fantastic Fox 2.35 Epsom 1pt e/w @ 10-1 (5 places)
Manobo 3.10 Epsom 3pts win @ 2-1
Moktasaab 3.45 Epsom 2pts win @ 3-1
Caradoc 3.45 Epsom 1pt e/w @ 7-1 (5 places Power/Betfair/Skybet)