5.50pm Epsom Tips & Betting Preview 02/06/2017

A competitive looking handicap for three year olds to end the Oaks card, run over seven furlongs. Read on for our runner by runner preview and tip.

IN SUMMARY: Any number in here open to improvement but none more so than MUSAWAAT who is bred to be better on quick ground but won’t mind at all if there are a few showers. He is a strong traveller who looks a Group class horse in the making. The main danger could well be the bottom one, Black Trilby who represents the back to form yard of Clive Cox. The drop in trip plus a first time hood is likely to see him in a better light. Big runs from Eaton Square and Juanito Chico would not surprise, but both are short enough in the betting for such a competitive looking handicap.

1 EATON SQUARE – Made a step forward with each outing as a juvenile, ending with a respectable enough run in the Horris Hill. Gelded over the winter and having had just the three starts, it is safe to assume that there is going to be better to come this year, with the cheek pieces he wore on his second start refitted now. a 360,000 guinea breeze up purchase, he has a lot to live up to if he is to justify that price tag and a mark of 95 is certainly no gimmee on his handicap debut.

2 AARDWOLF – Got given a superb ride by P J McDonald when landing a Doncaster handicap over this trip two starts back. Allowed a soft lead, he set steady fractions, quickening the tempo at the perfect time to catch the field napping. He found things more difficult at Goodwood last week when last of ten in a deeper race than this. Will likely have to find another good jolt of improvement to defy this mark from a wide draw here.

3 WAHASH – Just a single win from ten career starts, a Lingfield maiden at the seventh time of asking. His best runs on turf have come with plenty of cut in the ground, including when runner up last time at Doncaster on heavy. With a sunny day forecast for Thursday and a quick drying track such as Epsom, it’s likely to be much quicker if the localised showers don’t materialise. That said he was runner up to the smart Best Of Days at Sandown last year on god to firm, albeit six lengths adrift at the line. Looks likely to find others improving past him now.

4 DR JULIUS NO – Making his debut for Richard Hughes, he will find the drying ground in his favour, having finished off well late on at Musselburgh on god to firm back in April. That was over a mile (although a sharp one) and it will be interesting to see how he copes down in trip. A mark of 90 looks on the steep side of him as he doesn’t appear to be progressing and he would be something of a surprise winner.

5 MUSAWAAT – Just the three career starts for the Charlie Hills trained son of Equiano with a win on soft and a second on heavy. These underfoot conditions are likely to be different, but his pedigree suggests that quick ground should be no problem at all. Both his sire and dam were winners on good to firm and after his debut at Newbury, Hills said “I wondered about running Musawaat on this ground, but I was keen to get him on the racecourse and he travelled really well.” If he improves for a faster surface and copes with an undulating track at the first time of asking, he looks a big player.

6 FIREFRIGHT – Belatedly broke the maiden tag at the sixth time of asking in a Doncaster maiden last time out. He was runner up in a maiden over this course and distance as a two year old which gives him a track advantage over the majority of this field. A third to Mubtasim in the Weatherbys Sales race at Doncaster certainly makes a mark of 84 look workable for him. Not the easiest to win with but his string of placed efforts certainly suggest that he is a solid each way angle into the race.

7 PLANT POT POWER – Picked up a pair of nurseries in a busy juvenile campaign, including when beating Juanito Chico at Kempton. He looks likely to struggle against that re-opposing rival on six pounds worse terms for a two length beating, especially after rather poor efforts on both of this starts so far in 2017.

8 ZAMJAR – One of only three in this field with experience of this switchback track previously and the only one of them to score. That was over six furlongs last July, when he won despite rolling around on the sloping home straight. He has improved since then, looking more straightforward when winning at Chester last time in what was arguably a career best effort. More exposed than these, he is going to have to produce another best if he is to emerge victorious now.

9 ALKASHAAF – Winner of a pair of Class 5 events, this is a significant step up in grade for Archie Watson’s charge. To add to that he has pulled the widest draw of all which will make this tougher still. Looks to have far too much on his plate to consider, returning from a near three month absence.

10 ATTEQ – Likely second string for Al Shaqab racing but he showed vast improvement when fitted with a tongue strap for the first time at Beverley in April. That was only a Class 5 handicap but he ran riot in the style of a horse now able to put his best foot forward. The race possibly wasn’t run to suit at Musselburgh when trying to defy a penalty but, he was only beaten a neck with the front pair pulling well clear of the third. Is going to have to improve again now a further five pounds higher but trainer Richard Fahey does well with his Epsom raids, showing a £25.88 level stakes profit over the last five years.

11 JUANITO CHICO – The third in the line up with experience of the track, he was runner up to Mutahaady in a nursery off a mark of 70 last September, He found Plant Pot Power too good when they met last Autumn but he has progressed since then while the Richard Hannon horse appears to have gone backwards. Six pounds better off for a two length beating, he should get the better of the argument this time but given his last two runs over a mile, he is short enough in the betting dropped in trip.

12 BLACK TRILBY – The Clive Cox yard have bounced back to form in the last week and his bottom weight here sports a first time hood having been too keen at Leicester. That was over a mile and looked to tax his stamina so it is no surprise that connections opt to drop him back in trip. His final maiden run was a notable effort, eased off having been hampered, he was still only beaten five and a half lengths by Racing Post Trophy winner, Rivet. That form reads well given his mark of 82 here and he is an interesting each way contender.

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