Epsom 2018 Preview

Epsom 2018 Preview

Epsom 2018 Preview

The Derby is the most famous race on the flat racing calendar and Aidan O’Brien again heads down to Surrey mob-handed, with his stable-star SAXON WARRIOR currently heading the market in the big one at just 8/11. Below, we have provided our selections for a number of the feature races alongside a 14/1 racing request-a-bet combining the selections, backed exclusively with SkyBet.

Friday -Investec Woodcote EBF Stakes – 14:00

True Belief 8/1 E/W

Charlie Appleby’s 2-y-o was sent off 11/8 favourite on debut, where he was unlucky not to make a winning start under the inform William Buick. After a slow start, he got it together nicely before being hampered at a crucial stage in the race leaving him with mission impossible. As with everything in the race, there should be much more to come, but the form of his maiden stacks up nicely in comparison to others (the winner winning at listed level) and he is getting weight from many of the penalised winners.

The booking of Frankie Dettori on Usain Boat catches the eye at 14/1 (40% strike rate for the trainer) but we still believe the Godolphin colt is the one to kickstart Epsom in style.

Friday – Investec Coronation Cup – 15:10 

Cracksman 2/5 Win

Aidan O’Brien has an impeccable record in this race winning six of the previous ten renewals, but he faces tough opposition in the shape of John Gosden’s Cracksman this time around. The Frankel colt has done nothing but improve, recently blitzing the field in a French Group1 event where he was quoted by the trainer to be running at 85% of his peak fitness. That run will have put him spot on for this and he looks a tough nut to track, with recent rain posing no threat with his only run on soft resulting in a 7 length demolition job of the subsequent Brigadier Stakes winner, Poet’s Word.

Friday – Investec Oaks – 16:30

Forever Together 8/1 E/W

This year’s Oaks is far from the best renewal with the likes of Lah Ti Dar, Sea Of Class and Magical all omitted, leaving O’Brien with five of the nine declared to run. Forever Together is our pick of the bunch, currently sitting at 8/1. Ryan Moore has chosen Cheshire Oaks winner Magic Wand, but our selection was closing after finding little room that day and rates a solid e/w bet with Donnacha doing the steering. She was also the rustiest of the pair going into the race having not already had a run this season in contrast to the winner, who had shaken off the cobwebs in a Leopardstown maiden.

Friday – Investec Wealth & Investment Handicap – 15:40

Ajman King 5/2 Win

Roger Varian won this a few years ago with Farraaj and he has strong claims with market leader Ajman King here. The hugely progressive colt looks the type to be even better as a 4-y-o, which was outlined with a dominant reappearance display over C&D last month. That win brought up the hat-trick under Andrea Atzeni and the Italian rides again here.

Last year’s winner Not So Sleepy is also worth a mention at 10/1. He gets in off the same mark and Adam Kirby is back on board for the first turf run since then.

Saturday – Investec Derby – 16:30

Roaring Lion 6/1 E/W & Kew Gardens 40/1 E/W

Saxon Warrior heads the market as a slim 8/11 shot this year, looking the most likely winner as he seeks his fifth consecutive career victory. The vibes are strong from the O’Brien yard and they believe we haven’t seen the best of him yet, but with him being un-raced over further than a mile, we are happy to take him on with two e/w selections.

Firstly, we have the impressive Dante Stakes victor ROARING LION at 6/1. He finished over 2 lengths behind the favourite in this year’s 2000 Guineas, but finished as good as any that day and relished the extra yardage at York next time out. There is potential for him to progress even further over this trip and he is definitely worth an e/w punt.

At a price, it would be foolish to ignore Aidan O’Brien’s KEW GARDENS. He won this race with a 40/1 shot last year, and this colt had excuses in the Lingfield trial when losing a shoe behind Ed Dunlop’s Knight To Behold. He has shaped as a stayer but we wouldn’t rule him out of hitting the frame at a healthy 40/1.