5.25pm Epsom Tips & Betting Preview 28/08/2017

The final race on Epsom’s Bank Holiday Monday card is a mile handicap with eight runners chasing just under £6,500. Read on for our runner by runner preview and expert tip.

IN SUMMARY: GROOR is a massive price on his old form in a race where the majority aren’t kindly treated by the handicapper. He ran well on his first start for this yard at Doncaster and is now ten pounds lower in an easier contest. It will click for him soon and he could cause a bit of a shock to close the card. Lord Clenaghcastle is the ‘obvious’ one having won the last twice on a switchback track. He should have more improvement in his locker but just two weeks after being gelded is a quick enough return and Ryan Moore riding for his Dad isn’t the money spinner many would expect.

1 PUMAFLOR – Solid enough runner-up effort from this mark over course and distance earlier in the month, the third time he has filled that slot in his last five races. His run on the all weather since is easily dismissed as he has run poorly all three times on sand now. Holds a solid each way chance with course, trip and ground no issue but the run of placed form suggests that he isn’t the best handicapped.

2 DUBAI’S SECRET – A two time winner for Richard Hannon last summer, he has been disappointing in the main for his current handler. He failed to improve in a first time visor last time so that headgear is removed with a hood fitted instead. He has slipped back to a mark that he was capable of winning from last season so if the hood works, he has to have an each way chance.

3 SIR PLATO – Five wins from seven starts this season, the two flops on his record in 2017 have come when tried over ten furlongs, the wins all over this trip of a mile. He has progressed well with bold front running tactics paying dividends, the latter two wins in small fields where he was handed a soft lead. There is probably more to come but there will need to be on such a different track with Shifting Star to take him on early.

4 GROOR – Has slid a stone in the weights since winning a handicap at Meydan in February 2016. He showed a little promise on his first outing for this yard at Doncaster from ten pounds higher. That would suggest he has an each way chance at a monster price but has run poorly twice since. He probably didn’t stay last time so the drop in trip will allow him to finish the race off better, an interesting prospect.

5 LORD CLENAGHCASTLE – A winner both here and at Brighton this summer so switchback tracks clearly suit him. He has been gelded since his last run and this is a rather quick return from that. He is the clear form choice on what he has done the last twice with Ryan Moore taking over on top for his Dad. They aren’t the winning combination one might expect however, only having a 17% strike rate in the last five years for -£50 at level stakes.

6 FUJAIRA BRIDGE – Yet to come close to suggesting that he can cover the huge amount paid for him at sales, not improving for being gelded when runner up last time. Less than four lengths behind Barney Roy as a juvenile, he is an awful long way short of that now looking rather one paced and difficult. Has an each way chance in a relatively weak field but needs to progress considerably to win.

7 CHARACTER ONESIE – Not the easiest to win with, he has filled the runner-up spot three times in his last five races, beaten only a little over a length combined in those efforts. A strong pace with a pair of front runners should suit his hold up style, he looks a place candidate once more but isn’t the easiest to recommend as a win proposition.

8 SHIFTING STAR – Like Sir Plato, he is a bold front runner and while on the speed is often the place to be at Epsom, it doesn’t make it easy when they are likely to take one another on. A switchback track is clearly no concern but on his one hundred and forty eighth race, he holds no secrets from the handicapper and needs more.

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