The penultimate race of the day on ITV on Friday is a 1m 2f handicap, with several in form horses battling for the prize. See our betting tips and the full race preview below.
Currently second favourite in the race is Andrew Balding’s BROROCCO, whose a horse in form after returning at his peak this season for Kingsclere Racing Club. The four year old by Shirocco was perhaps a shade disappointing on seasonal debut on the all weather, but he atoned for that when powering away to win a competitive handicap at Epsom in April, raised 4lb as a result. That raise didn’t however stop him as he finished second at Chester in handicap company, with their being no disgrace in defeat to the potentially smart Khairaat as he was two lengths clear of the remainder. He can go on any ground and looks progressive this season, so a further pound rise is unlikely to stop him going in again under the in form Oisin Murphy.
Sir Michael Stoute is operating at a 30% strike rate from his last 27 runners and the in form Fidaawy will be looking to build on that stat with a forth career victory. Returning from six months off in April at Doncaster, the four year old made all at a steady pace, quickening clear nicely towards the finish for a comfortable success. He’s been raised 4lb as a result of the half length victory but he should come on for the run and be a different proportion this time around, with the possible softer ground no issue as he has run well on it in the past. He can make his presence felt under Jim Crowley and has to be respected.
Now 8lb below her last winning mark, you wouldn’t be amiss in thinking that Imshivalla was very well handicapped and although she’s just been ticking over of late, a big run could be on the cards with softer ground forecast. Richard Fahey’s six year old last victory came over C&D in June 2016, winning off an 8lb higher mark in comfortable style in similar conditions to what is likely on Friday. Her four runs this season haven’t been the best granted, but her penultimate start at Ripon when fifth did suggest she had a race like this in her at some stage off a mark like this. She will love conditions and the more rain the better for her, with the fact she is a C&D winner only furthering her claims, so she is another to consider despite her patchy profile.
Although perhaps exposed at the age of eight, David Griffiths’ Storm King has proven this season he still more than capable of taking victories and another big run looks on the cards. A winner of two of his last four starts, he took the latest of those at Chester three weeks ago off a 3lb lower mark, making all in good style despite edging right handed in the final furlong. He goes back up in class and the rise does make things tougher, but if given a good draw and a soft lead, he’d be hugely dangerous to discount as he will be fine in the softer conditions that are likely. He’s won off much higher marks in the past and although he’s perhaps not up to that level now, a mark of 83 still is achievable and he’s another to note.
Eve Johnston Houghton is on a roll at present with six winners from her last twenty-four, which furthers the chances of the likeable What About Carlo. The six year old was running well last season for connections, winning a competitive handicap at Newbury in October off a 5lb lower mark than today’s and he perhaps needed the run when well beaten at Chelmsford on return eight days ago. He should come on for the run and with the yard in such brilliant form, he’s dangerous to discount with conditions to suit and good course form here at Epsom. Tom Queally takes the ride and it has to be remembered he finished third in this race last season off the same mark, which makes him all the more interesting.