Epsom’s Derby card starts with a quality Friday line-up, the features of which are of course the Oaks and the Coronation Cup.
We won’t be making a selection in either race with the Aidan O’Brien trained pair Highland Reel and Rhododendron both short priced favourites who are both hard to back and hard to oppose. The John Gosden trained Enable has drifted out to 7/1 for the Oaks for no real reason, is bred to stay the trip well, and is the closest to being a bet.
We will switch our focus to the two big handicaps on the card.
The Investec Mile (1435 BST) is a very interesting race. Favourite G K Chesterton is quite inexperienced for this track, and might appreciate any rain. Remarkable is a strong contender but might still be a bit high in the weights, whilst Mutarakez, who ran well at Newbury recently, wandered badly on that flat track, so the camber here could be a challenge.
We really like Richard Fahey’s Spring Offensive. Some horses just take to Epsom, and whilst this fella has only has the one visit when 6th in this race last year, that was a truly eye-catching effort having met plenty of trouble. He has showed decent form at Naas and Thirsk already this year, and back over the Epsom downs we think he can capture his very best form.
Just over an hour later (1545) a bunch of course specialists line up for the 10f handicap. Favourite Fidaawy is not one of those, and this front runner will be having his first taste of the course. He won well from the front last time at Doncaster, but this will be a very different challenge.
Last year’s winner Imshivalla, course veteran What About Carlo, and winner on this day last year Examiner all have valuable course winning form although all have something to prove on latest form.
Andrew Balding’s Brorocco has the best of both worlds having been in great form so far this year, including a win over the course and distance off a 5lb lower mark. He should get the strong pace that suits him, and jockey Oisin Murphy always rides this track well.
A good looking day – we will stick to one point bets, but will risk covering the double as our potential route to riches.
Spring Offensive, (1435 Epsom), 1pt win, 10/1, BetVictor, Betfair
Brorocco, (1545 Epsom), 1pt win, 9/2, generally available
Spring Offensive & Brorocco, 1pt win double, approx. 54/1
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