Epsom Derby Festival Day Two Tips: Check out our best bets for Saturday

Epsom Derby Festival Day Two Tips: We give out our best bets for Epsom on Saturday.
Epsom Derby Festival Day Two Tips: We give out our best bets for Epsom on Saturday.

It's Derby day at Epsom, and Steve Chambers has picked out his best bets on Saturday's mouth-watering card...

14:35 Epsom Downs - Princess Elizabeth Stakes

A winner of the Group 3 Atalanta Stakes at Sandown Park last season, the Simon & Ed Crisford-trained Maamora failed to fire on her seasonal reappearance at Goodwood last month, as she could only finish fifth in Listed company. Looking to improve significantly for that outing, the daughter of Dubawi heads into the Princess Elizabeth Stakes as the race favourite, at the time of writing, and she has to be a major contender.

However, it's the Martyn Meade-trained STATEMENT that could be the filly to keep an eye on, as she looks to bounce back from a disappointing run in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket. Having run a mighty race at big odds to finish second in the Fred Darling Stakes earlier in the season, Statement lined up in the Guineas as a well fancied contender, but she could only finish eighth. Now, the daughter of Lawman will be eager to make amends for that effort, and with a win in soft going a notable positive with the rain hitting Epsom on Friday then she could well land the spoils. Receiving significant weight from her older rivals, Meade's charge could and should be challenging for favouritism come off time.

14:35 Epsom Downs - Princess Elizabeth Stakes
Statement silk



15:10 Epsom Downs - Diomed Stakes

On an afternoon where the three-year-olds take centre stage in the Cazoo Derby at 16:30, there's another potential top-class performer from the Classic generation that can light up Epsom Downs on Saturday afternoon. Sir Michael Stoute's MAXIMAL is the sole three-year-old lining up in the Group 3 Diomed Stakes at 15:10, but having showed real promise this season he can duly down his older adversaries in the 1m 113y contest.

The Galileo colt didn't sparkle too brightly as a two-year-old, but he showed he could be a Pattern performer in the making when chasing home Derby hopeful Hurricane Lane in a conditions event at Newbury in April. Beaten a length that day, the pair pulled comfortably clear of the rest of the field, and next time out Maximal was seen chasing home another smart performer in the shape of El Drama in the Dee Stakes at Chester. The drop back to a mile from ten furlongs he ran at Chester shouldn't pose any notable problems, and while the likes of Century Dream and Bell Rock look major players, it's the deadly duo of Stoute and Ryan Moore, who teamed up for glory in this race in 2019 with Zaaki, that can reign supreme once again.

15:10 Epsom Downs - Diomed Stakes
Maximal silk



15:45 Epsom Downs - World Pool 'Dash' Handicap

The speedsters are set to scorch the turf at 15:45 as the Epsom Dash serves up a devilishly difficult conundrum for punters. With 20 runners set to head to the five-furlong start, it's a real cavalry charge down the fastest five furlongs in the country, and the betting just highlights what a competitive event it is. Prominent figures in the betting include the hugely consistent Caspian Prince, who is bidding for a hat-trick of wins in the race having claimed glory in 2016 and 2017, while Ornate (2019) and Duke Of Firenze (2013) are another brace of contenders that have grabbed this prize during their careers.

One at a bigger price that has had experience of running in this contest, but has failed to taste victory is the Robert Cowell-trained Blue De Vega, who looks attractively handicapped on his best form, and the eight-year-old can cause a minor shock here. Third behind Ornate in the 2019 renewal, BLUE DE VEGA also bagged fourth spot in the 2018 running, so he has shown that he handles the course fine, and off a mark of 95 looks to stand a chance. A winner off a mark of 100 last season, Blue De Vega has been dropped 1lb for a recent fourth placed finish at Newmarket, and it's all set fair for him to bounce back to form on Saturday, and he's a standout each-way player.

15:45 Epsom Downs - World Pool 'Dash' Handicap
Blue De Vega silk

Blue De Vega


16:30 Epsom Downs - Cazoo Derby

Aidan O'Brien's Bolshoi Ballet is entitled to be a warm order for the Cazoo Derby, which is the feature race on Saturday afternoon. Sensational when winning the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown on his last start, the son of Galileo has been given glowing references from the yard in the lead-up to the Derby. So much so that O'Brien has opted to run him as his sole representative in the contest, and it's going to be hard to get the better of the Irish star.

However, at a shade of odds-against he's worth taking on with a more attractive value play, and the Charlie Appleby-trained HURRICANE LANE is nearing double-figured odds with the bookmakers, and that looks a sparkling bet for the unbeaten son of Frankel. A conditions winner at Newbury on his first start this season, the Godolphin raider then went on to beat High Definition in the Dante Stakes at York, and with the step up in trip for the Derby looking another positive then he could well play a starring role. He has won on quick and slow ground, so the weather on Friday won't cause many issues, and if he can maintain a prominent position turning for home he could well just outbattle Bolshoi Ballet in a thriller.

16:30 Epsom Downs - Cazoo Derby
Hurricane Lane silk

Hurricane Lane

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