Epsom is the host for the biggest race of the season and on Friday it is the Fillies’ who take centre stage in a bid to take home the Investec Oaks.
Here we take a look at the live Channel 4 racing and provide some free horse racing tips for the day.
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1.35 – Princess Elizabeth Stakes (Fillies’ Group 3) 1m114y
Selection: THISTLE BIRD @ 4/1 with Bet Victor
Consistent mare who finished in the top two on all five starts last season, winning three times and finishing a neck 2nd twice. She won three Listed contests and was unlucky not to win the Group 2 Celebration Mile at Goodwood where she was headed late on by Premio Loco. Made a pleasing return when third in the Group 3 Dahlia Stakes over this trip at Newmarket 3 weeks ago and she should come on for that outing. She rarely runs a poor race and she should cope with the undulations of Epsom judged on her running style and performances on the undulations of Goodwood. She would not want anymore rain to fall but looks sure to be involved.
2.10 – Investec Wealth & Investment Handicap (Class 2) 1m2f18y
E/W Selection: TRES CORONAS @ 8/1 with Bet Victor
A six year old gelding who has been running well of late, gaining a deserved win last time out after a string of good runs. A hold up performer he did well to come from the rear around Chester last time out and will once again need some luck in running given his racing style. Up 6lb for his latest success which makes life tougher off a career high mark but clearly in good heart and has ran well at Epsom before. Steps back up in class but has run well in this type of company in the past and any further rain would only enhance his chances of running well.
2.45 – Investec Diomed Stakes (Group 3) 1m114y
Selection: PRODUCER @ 4/1 with Bet Victor
Course specialist with four wins from as many starts at the track; that alone makes him a big player in this race. This will be his toughest test to date but he has won a Group 3 before and more recently was a Listed winner; he also ran well in a valuable Meydan Handicap in Dubai over the winter. Struggled in the Group 3 Darley Stakes last term but a Group 3 race at his favourite venue will be more appropriate. The step up in trip is not necessarily a positive with a mile looking his optimum trip but Epsom is a fairly sharp course and he ought to prove competitive in a bid to enhance his perfect record at the track.
3.20 – Investec Mile (Handicap) (Class 2) 1m114y
E/W Selection: BENZANNO @ 10/1 with William Hill
This 4 year old rounded off last season with a comfortable success in testing conditions at Haydock and returned in the same vein when winning a handicap on the all-weather at Lingfield. He has not managed to follow that up since with three solid if not unspectacular efforts in competitive races. He ran respectably last time out from an unpromising position at Chester and a return to Epsom and slightly slower ground should suit him well. A winner here in the past, he enjoys himself on the undulations and off effectively just 4lb higher than his last winning mark he can still prove competitive. Has his quirks but Probert knows him well and he is a jockey with a good strike rate at Epsom (22%).
4.00 – Investec Oaks (Fillies’ Group 1) 1m4f10y
Selection: LIBER NAUTICUS @ 11/2 with Bet Victor
Lightly raced filly with just two starts so far, she is bred to be a very smart middle distance horse and so far she has lived up to that. From the family of St Leger winner Conduit stamina was always likely to be her strongpoint and the way in which she won the Group 3 Musidora over 10f last time out suggests 12f will be fine for her. Sir Michael Stoute has clearly taken his time with this filly and everything points to her putting up a bold show. She has looked as if she needs plenty of encouragement in the saddle and so it would be no surprise to see Moore fairly animated on her, but she is open to progress and she is likely to be primed for this test.
(For further analysis see the Investec Oaks preview article here)
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