2.35pm Epsom Tips & Betting Preview 02/06/2017

Handicap action is on the agenda for the second race of the day at Epsom on Friday and it’s live on ITV, read on for our Investec Click & Invest Mile Handicap tips and betting preview.

Although 4lb out of the handicap, CRICKLEWOOD GREEN has run some good races here at Epsom in the past and he be able to capitalise on this basement mark to gain a seventh career success. His last run at Epsom in September 2016 resulted in a close third off only a pound lower and he has run some good races this season, finishing a close second at Chelmsford four starts ago. He returned from a five month absence at Sandown where he looked very much in need of the run and he should be much better this time around with conditions to suit. Josephine Gordon takes the ride for the in form Sylvester Kirk yard and he looks poised for a big run for connections.

Charlie Appleby is currently operating at a 31% strike rate from his last 32 runners which is an impressive figure and he’ll be hoping G K Chesterton can add another win to that already growing tally. A steady improver for connections last season, he returned this season with a career best to finish a close second at Nottingham and despite a three pound rise he won a Newmarket handicap at Newmarket two weeks ago comfortably. He’s been raised a further 5lb as a result but he remains with scope for progress and he looked value for more after that victory, with William Buick taking over the ride. He goes on any sort of ground and looks a main player for Godolphin, so has to be respected.

John Gosden’s string also continues to go in good heart and Remarkable will be hoping to gain a perhaps well deserved victory after going close in some competitive affairs in the past. Winning his maiden at the second attempt, he posted a career best on his penultimate start when narrowly denied in the Balmoral Handicap on Champions Day at Ascot. He returned this season in the Victoria Cup at the same venue over seven furlongs, hampered at the start before having a very tough passage, never able to challenge but doing the best of those forced out wide. Perhaps you can mark up that effort on that basis and the fact is was his seasonal debut, as he should come on for the run and the step up in trip will suit to no end. Conditions are likely to be to suit and he’s another main challenger.

Adam Kirby continues to bang in the winners with a 21% strike rate from his last 38 runners and he’ll be hoping his partner Sixties Groove can provide him with another victory. The son of Sixties Icon has improved markedly since his maiden days and really started to come into his own towards the end of last year, with his second at Goodwood showing he was really starting to hit his stride. He bettered that effort when forth up in class in the Rowley Cup at Newmarket and he took his third career victory when taking a well deserved win in the London Middle Distance Final at Kempton despite hanging late on. He has been raised 7lb as a result but he remains with potential and a switch back the turf could help eek out some further improvement. He needs to overcome a 205 day break but that isn’t of too much concern and if ready to roll, he should be in with a big chance.

It’s now over two years since Brain Meehan’s Mutarakez took a victory and it’s hard to be convinced that he himself wants to change that after his latest run at Newbury. Taking the lead with a furlong to go, he looked nailed on to take a victory and end his miserable streak before veering to the right inside the final furlong when asked to win the race, drifting his chance away. He’s been raised a pound as a result and it’s hard to be confident that he’ll be ending his barren spell in this after questionable finishing effort. He has conditions to suit and no excuses off a mark that seems him well treated on the best of his form, so he does have each way claims if putting his best foot forward under Kieran Fox.

Although he’s another who hasn’t won since 2014, Stipulate ran well on his latest start and could hit the frame again with Megan Nicholls taking off 5lb from his back. Although hugely disappointing when returning to the flat, he made amends when a very good third in the Thirsk Hunt Cup, keeping on strongly in the closing stages to dead heat for that position and he remains on the same mark. The extended mile should be much more to his liking and he has a very good chance of reaching the places if in the same mood again, with a strong pace another element that would see him to best effect. Conditions are fine and with Megan Nicholls well worth her 5lb, he’s an interesting each way contender for Brian Ellison, though the yard are very much out of form which is something to note.

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