Racing Tips For Epsom Derby Day: O'Brien can strike

Both the Oaks and the Derby will be held on the same day on Saturday.
Both the Oaks and the Derby will be held on the same day on Saturday.

Nick Seddon runs through the card on Epsom Derby day, which is of course headlined by the two classic races...

13:50 - Woodcote Stakes 

Last year's Woodcote Stakes was won by none other than Pinatubo, and Godolphin will be hoping that Modern News can follow in his footsteps. He was unable to build on a winning debut over this trip at Newmarket when only fifth in the Chesham Stakes last time out, however, and it could instead be worth siding with the unbeaten colt Twaasol. He made a winning start when scoring over this trip at Windsor last month, form which looks pretty strong in the context of this race, and he's fancied to build on that by following up here.

Woodcote Stakes
Twaasol silk

Twaasol

won

14:25 - Surrey Stakes 

An intriguing renewal of this listed contest, in which Safe Voyage is fancied to prove too classy. He enjoyed a stellar campaign last season, winning the Group 3 John of Gaunt Stakes at Haydock Park over this trip in June, before signing off with a commendable effort to finish third in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on his final start of the campaign. There was plenty to like about his effort to finish second on reappearance over this trip at Haydock last month behind Space Blues - who won this last year - and able to take his chance on good terms, he can prove that he's a cut above this level. 

Surrey Stakes
Safe Voyage silk

Safe Voyage

won

15:00 - Investec Handicap Stakes 

This race has been blown open by the fact that Desert Icon is a non-runner, and it now looks worth siding with Caradoc. He was a progressive type last term, winning three times from six starts, with all of those successes coming at this afternoon's trip. He's on a pretty lofty official mark of 100 as a consequence, but there's reason to think that there could be more to come from him yet this season, and he's well drawn out in stall 15. With that in mind, he gets a narrow vote in a wide-open affair.  

Investec Handicap Stakes
Caradoc silk

Caradoc

lost

15:40 - The Oaks 

This seems likely to boil down to a straight match between the 1000 Guineas winner Love, and the Ribblesdale winner Frankly Darling. The latter represents last year's winning jockey and trainer, and while there was plenty to like about her effort to pull away from the field at Ascot last time out, she may find Love too hot to handle. Aidan O'Brien's filly looked tailor made for this trip when powering clear at Newmarket last month, and bearing in mind that the bare form of her Guineas win is the strongest on offer here, she's fancied to prove her class and strike.

With three places on offer, it could also be worth playing Queen Daenerys each-way at a much bigger price. She shaped with plenty of promise when second in the listed Pretty Polly Stakes at Newmarket last month, and ought to find more improvement yet now upped in trip. 

The Oaks
Love silk

Love

won
Epsom Oaks
Queen Daenerys silk

Queen Daenerys (EW)

lost
Epsom Oaks Preview

16:15 - Princess Elizabeth Stakes 

It's interesting to see so much money for Fooraat, who is a full-sister to the top-class Benbatl and has won both of her starts to date, including when sauntering clear in the style of a pattern performer on reappearance at Chelmsford last month. She has to be respected on her turf debut, though she may find the more experienced Cloak Of Spirits to be too tough a nut to crack. She was an excellent second behind Love in last month's 1000 Guineas, and having held her own at that same level in the Coronation Stakes last time out, she's fancied to take advantage of the drop in class by taking this. 

Princess Elizabeth Stakes
Cloak Of Spirits silk

Cloak Of Spirits

placed

16:50 - Epsom Derby 

A wide open renewal of the Derby, in which several have to be seriously considered. The betting is headed by English King, who was an impressive winner of the Lingfield trial and has Frankie Dettori in the saddle, while the 2000 Guineas hero Kameko would take all of the beating if he stays the trip. It's interesting that Ryan Moore has opted to ride last month's Royal Ascot flop Mogul, and he clearly is well thought of by his connections, but it could instead be worth siding with his stablemate Russian Emperor.

There was plenty to like about his effort to reel in First Receiver and Berlin Tango in the Hampton Court Stakes, needing every inch of Ascot's steep finish to collar the two leaders. He was a highly promising second in the Derrinstown Derby Trial at Leopardstown prior to that, too, when he again produced plenty of good late work, and there should be plenty more to come from him now stepped up to a mile and a half.

Epsom Derby
Russian Emperor silk

Russian Emperor

lost

17:35 - Investec Zebra Handicap 

We close the card with a wide-open 16-runner handicap, and it could be worth taking a chance on Knowing Glance at a double figure price. He was in fine form at the beginning of the year, recording wins over this trip at both Wolverhampton and LIngfield, and returned from a break with a solid run to finish third at Chelmsford last month. He's clearly still in good heart at the moment, and can go well here off what looks to still be a competitive mark after a 1 lb rise by the assessor. 

Investec Zebra Handicap
Knowing Glance silk

Knowing Glance

lost
Epsom Derby Tips

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