It’s going to be a manic Friday of action, with eight meetings to sink out teeth into! Epsom, Market Rasen, Catterick, Tramore, Down Royal, Goodwood, Bath and Doncaster all host racing and we’ll be providing horse racing tips.
The feature action, of course, comes from Epsom. Derby Weekend begins at the venue and the Epsom Oaks headlines a superb Friday card from the Surrey venue. After a 20/1 winner and 25/1 second earlier in the week, I’m hoping to add to my week’s tally from the ITV Racing offering. You can find all three of my selections below, including detailed analysis!
2.35 Epsom – Coral ‘Beaten By A Length’ Free Bet Handicap
Course form is essential at Epsom and Corazon Espinado (14-1) is a horse who possesses plenty of it. Simon Dow’s six-year-old has run at Epsom on eight occasions, with a course record standing at 172331218. He’s well suited to the venue’s quirky nature and looks overpriced with Hollie Doyle taking over in the saddle.
He gained his most recent win at Lingfield back in January, running well in defeat in two recent starts at the same venue. Most recently, he was a close second off today’s rating and he’s seemingly returned to form at the perfect time.
Returning to the mile looks a good move at this stage of his career and he remains well treated on his past form. The only course winner in the field, he can show them how the regulars do it.
3.45 Epsom – Cazoo Handicap
Winning this race twelve months ago off a five-pound lower rating, Sky Defender (12-1) has an excellent chance of going back to back in the contest. He’s been winless since that aforementioned success, but he’s gone close on numerous occasions and doesn’t fit into the “frustrating” category just yet.
His most recent near-miss came over course and distance, going down off today’s rating by just a length. Only beaten by another previous course winner, that effort can be upgraded and subsequent run over twelve furlongs is readily discarded.
Back down to his optimum distance, with ground conditions perfect, he can lead this field a merry dance and, finger’s crossed, won’t be for catching under Franny Norton.
4.30 Epsom – Cazoo Oaks
This is a wide open renewal of the Epsom Oaks and I’m going to trust that Sherbet Lemon (40-1) will take a big step forward for Archie Watson and Hollie Doyle. Winning her debut in good style as a juvenile, she perhaps took a backwards step when staying on too late behind Noon Star on return at Wetherby in April.
She showed the benefit of that run, however, and knuckled down gamely to win the Lingfield Oaks Trial at 28-1 on her most recent start. She was pressed on all sides heading into the final furlong but refused to lie down, ultimately going away in the closing stages. Beating both Save A Forest and Ocean Road, the bare form obviously leaves her with something to find.
Improvement can surely be expected, however, given that this is just her fourth career start. All signs point to her progressing for the new distance and Watson’s recent form also bodes well. She won’t mind the ground conditions and odds of 40-1, I’m certainly willing to take the chance that Doyle can weave her magic on the big stage.