Epsom Friday Racing Tips For Live ITV Races
So, it is finally upon us. The Epsom Derby meeting kicks off on Friday and what a card it is. The Epsom Oaks is the feature on Day 1 and you can check out our preview here. ITV will be broadcasting the first five races live and it promises to be a dramatic day of equine action. Dave Stevos has previewed the opening races on Day 1. Check out his Epsom Friday racing tips below…
Epsom Friday: 2.00 – Investec Woodcote Stakes (Class 2)
First up on Friday are the juveniles in the valuable Woodcote Stakes. This conditions race has attracted a field of 7, a frustrating number for each way thieves. Horses that have won a race have to carry 5lb extra and five of the runners will shoulder 9st 5lbs. Pinatubo, a son of Shamardal, looked a proper horse when hosing up on debut at Wolves. He had a couple of next time out winners in behind and if proving as effective on turf, he is the one they all have to beat.
At the prices, one that could outrun his odds carrying just 9st is Dragon Command. This fella ran a cracker on debut at Doncaster (5f gd) when held up, hampered at a crucial time and keeping on well for a close enough 5th. Front running tactics were employed last time out when only Rayong (9/1 today) proved too good. There was less than a length between them that day and if more patient tactics are employed, I think Dragon Command could turn the form around over this extra furlong on a much speedier track, especially with a 5lb pull. At odds of 20/1 he is the each way pick.
EPSOM DAY 1 RACING TIPS: DRAGON COMMAND E/W @ 20/1
Epsom Friday: 2.35 – Investec Mile Handicap (Class 2)
Fourteen will line up at the start for this mile handicap and plenty of bookies are paying 4 places each way. In races of this nature, chancing one at juicy odds for small stakes is the way to go and at 20/1 Wahash fits the bill. Trained by Richard Hannon, this 5yo son of Dark Angel has been frustrating to follow. I fancied him for the Lincoln at Doncaster and he went well for a long way and wasn’t beaten far. His next run, beaten 1L off 96 on good to firm at Bath, was a fine effort and it showed he is capable off his current rating of 94.
His only previous visit to Epsom, as a 3yo back in 2017, resulted in a good 2nd off 92 over 7f. Both his career wins so far have come on the all weather at Lingfield, but he is effective on grass. He was beaten a nose off 96 at Salisbury on good to firm last season and that is the ground he loves. He is on a mark he has gone close off before and he has course form in the book. The more the ground dries out, the better his chance will be. At odds of 20/1 Wahash is worth backing each way for 4 places.
EPSOM FRIDAY RACING TIPS: WAHASH E/W @ 20/1 NB
Epsom Racing Tips: 3.10 – Investec Coronation Cup (Group 1)
The first Group 1 of the Epsom Derby meeting is the 12f Coronation Cup. This is basically a Derby for horses aged 4yo and up and nine will go to post. With Coronet a non-runner, Lah Ti Dar is the only girl in the race. She gets a handy 3lb weight for sex allowance from the boys. The Andrew Lloyd Webber filly is undeniably up against some seasoned and superbly talented campaigners. However, on drying ground she could be up to the task. Lah Ti Dar is unbeaten when there has been firm in the ground description, so if it dries out tomorrow her odds of 7/2 could look big at the end of the race.
Kew Gardens is probably more effective over further and of the market leaders, Old Persian could be the one to give La Ti Dar most to think about. For each way players, Communique could outrun his odds of 22/1. This hardy 4yo son of Casamento broke his duck at Group level last time at Newmarket. He beat Defoe by a over a length in the typical style of a Mark Johnston inmate. Three of his six career wins came on quick ground and stays every inch of 12f. He will give them a good target to aim at, but it would be no surprise if he hangs on for a place. At odds of 22/1 he is a viable each way alternative to the most likely winner, Lah Ti Dar.
EPSOM FRIDAY RACING TIPS: LAH TI DAR @ 7/2 NAP; COMMUNIQUE E/W @ 22/1.
Epsom Friday Racing Tip: 3.45 – Investec Handicap (Class 2)
This 10f handicap looks a very competitive affair. From a handicapping perspective, Mr Scaramanga looks chucked in off a mark of just 83. Simon Dow trains just a stone’s throw from Epsom and he has a fine record at the track. He has had 36 winners and 118 top 4 finishers from 451 runners, a frame hitting strike rate of over 34%. Mr Scaramanga is one of two runners for him here today, his other being Corazon Espinado in the last.
This son of Sir Percy had shown very little form on turf until a fine second over today’s trip at Windsor. He won at Lingfield on the all weather off 87 back in January, so he still has plenty of ability. This fella has been hard to place on turf since winning a big pot on good ground in Doha as a 3yo. He was rated as high as 105 at one point, so it is no wonder he has struggled in handicap company. Off 83 he looks dangerously well handicapped and if he is going to stay 10f, it will be at Epsom. David Egan is a good booking and at odds of 25/1 he is the each way selection.