Epsom Friday Preview - 02/06/23

James Mackie | @JMackieRacing

Epsom - June 01 2023
Epsom 13:00
James Doyle

Balon D'Or

J: James Doyle
T: Hugo Palmer
Age: 2
Weight: 9-7
Days: 23

The first race of the afternoon on Friday from Epsom Downs is the Woodcote Conditions Stakes over 6f and we have picked out two runners that can hit the frame.

The first is the Hugo Palmer trained Balon D'Or who has been seen twice to date and holds some credible form on softer conditions and if improving for quicker ground is a serious player in this.

A winner at Musselburgh on debut over 5f when beating a next time out winner in Sergeant Wilko, with the third and fourth since franking the form aswell, he then went up in class at Chester.

Having been drawn in the car park in stall 11 he flew out and finished a narrow second behind the two talented horses for Middleham Park in Ziggy's Phoenix and Ziggy's Dream.

The way he challenged from that draw draw at Chester was eye-catching and getting extra furlong should bring more improvement.

Epsom - June 01 2023
Epsom 13:00
Pat Dobbs


J: Pat Dobbs
T: Richard Hannon
Age: 2
Weight: 9-7
Days: 16

At a slightly bigger price and a horse to be backed each way is the Richard Hannon trained Haatem who has also been seen twice to date.

A good third at Goodwood on debut behind two smart prospects in Beenham and Ethandun, he then went to Bath when up to 5.5f and went on to bolt up by six lengths.

The way he pulled away from the field on fast ground was extremely taking and if coming on again for the run he can't be overlooked.

Epsom - June 01 2023
Epsom 13:35
Daniel Muscutt


J: Daniel Muscutt
T: Kevin Philippart De Foy
Age: 6
Weight: 9-6
OR: 95
Days: 13

Another tricky event on the Epsom card is the Racehorse Lotto Handicap over 8.5f and at a big price Alrehb can bounce back to form and hopefully hit the frame at 25/1.

In good form on turf and the all weather at the back end of last term when a good second at Doncaster on quick ground off a mark of 88, before placing on his next three runs going up to a mark of 91, he then came back in January 2023 and got back to winning ways over a mile.

Upped to this races' trip off the same mark as he runs off on Friday he went on to land the Lincoln Handicap at Wolves, doing his best work late managing to see off Unforgotten, Notre Belle Bete and Outbreak who have all ran well since.

Given 5lb for that win he has been seen twice off 100 and ran no race at all in tougher events at Newbury but now back down to his last winning mark and returning to quicker ground, at 25/1 he is worth taking a chance on to bounce back.

Epsom - June 01 2023
Epsom 14:10
Rob Hornby


J: Rob Hornby
T: Ralph Beckett
Age: 4
Weight: 9-2
OR: 119
Days: 69

The first big race of the afternoon is the Group One Coronation Cup over 1m4f and Westover for Ralph Beckett holds some of the leading form.

A smart juvenile when running three times, getting off the mark over a mile at Sandown on debut before putting up two good seconds in a Conditions Stakes at Newbury and then a Listed event at Pontefract.

Returning over 10f at Sandown when taking the Group Three Classic Trial, he then ran a cracker in the Epsom Derby to finish superbly off the pace to grab third behind runaway winner Desert Crown, with the further he went the better he was.

Seeking that Group One victory, he was then sent to the Curragh for the Irish Derby and easily bolted up by seven lengths, putting up the performance of his career.

Tried at Ascot in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes when not running his true race, he bounced back to form in the Arc when sixth of 20, running on extremely soft ground which does not play to his strengths, but his class got him through the event.

Starting his four year old campaign off in Meydan when finishing a superb second in the Group One Dubai Sheema Classic behind the freak from Japan Equinox, now getting back to a track he handles well he could be tough to beat.

Epsom - June 01 2023
Epsom 14:45
Connor Beasley


J: Connor Beasley
T: Jack Channon
Age: 5
Weight: 8-12
OR: 92
Days: 14

A race that sees a lot of contrasting form lines is the Betfred Handicap over 1m2f and from a price perspective Majestic is worth another go off his mark of 92.

A horse that ran extremely well at the back end of last season with some nice placed efforts over a mile then turned that into a winning performance on his final run of the season when taking the 28 runner Cambridgeshire Handicap over course and distance off a mark of 86.

Sent to Doncaster for his first of the 2023 season he ran a cracker to finish fourth of 22 runners in the Lincoln Handicap over a mile.

preferring better ground than that of the heavy at Doncaster, he got that at Newmarket but strangely did not run his race when backed to do so.

Last seen on much better ground at York and up in trip to 10.5f, he ran a cracker from the wrong side of the track to finish a length behind the winner Marhaba The Champ who he takes on again being 2lb better off.

Being a much bigger price than Kevin Ryan's horse it made the decision easy for us to put him up.

Epsom - June 01 2023
Epsom 15:30
Ryan Moore


J: Ryan Moore
T: A P O'Brien
Age: 3
Weight: 9-2
OR: 114
Days: 23

The feature race of the afternoon on Friday is the Group One Epsom Oaks for the fillies' and Savethelastdance for Aidan O'Brien could be a superstar for a trainer who has won the last three renewals of this race.

Seen just once as a juvenile when fifth of eight at Thurles over a mile in a Maiden, she was then put away for her three year old campaign.

Given her seasonal debut this term she made a huge impression at Leopardstown when stepped up to 1m2f and going on to beat stablemate Boogie Woogie by 2 1/4 lengths.

Boogie Woogie has since bolted up in a Fillies' Maiden at Naas and the third Azazat has also gone on to frank the form in a good way.

O'Brien then sent her to the Listed Cheshire Oaks at Chester and putting up arguably the performance of the season so far she went on to bolt up by 22 lengths, with her sectional times being outrageous.

That run did come on soft ground but with her pedigree suggesting she could be event better on quicker ground the sky is the limit for this Galileo filly.

Epsom - June 01 2023
Epsom 16:10
Charles Bishop

Streets Of Gold

J: Charles Bishop
T: Eve Johnson Houghton
Age: 3
Weight: 9-2
OR: 103
Days: 41

The penultimate race from Epsom on the first day of the Derby meeting is the Listed Surrey Stakes and we are taking a chance on the Eve Johnson Houghton trained Streets Of Gold to improve from his seasonal return.

Unbeaten on his first five starts he looks a superb talent for Eve Johnson Houghton that last season as a juvenile picked up some nice prize money all season.

Winning a Maiden at Chepstow in June over 6f he looks extremely useful and off the back of that went to Newmarket on the July Course and saw off a nice challenger in Juliet Sierra giving weight away.

Sent to York at the Ebor meeting off a mark of 92 he made it 3/3 in decisive fashion and then when seen last time out at the Curragh up 1/2 a furlong in trip the colt made it four on the bounce, again fairly easily.

Off the same mark as his last win he finished the term stepping up to 7f at York and again winning to make it five on the bounce in the £100,000 2YO Series Final.

Starting his three year old campaign off in the Group Three Greenham Stakes at Newbury on dreadful ground, he did not take to the conditions and finished a poor sixth of 11 runners.

Putting a line through that run, he gets back to his more preferred conditions here and stripping fitter for the run he can resume his progress.

Epsom - June 01 2023
Epsom 16:45
Oisin Murphy


J: Oisin Murphy
T: Andrew Balding
Age: 3
Weight: 9-9
OR: 93
Days: 14

The final event on Friday's card is the Class 2 Handicap over 7f and we have played two at each way prices, both for the same owner in Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum.

The first is the Andrew Balding trained Clochette who drops back from Listed company into a handicap for the first time and off 93 could be better than these.

Tried twice as a juvenile over 6f when second on debut at Newbury, she then finished her two year old career with a win at Ascot on rapid ground.

Seen once this term when making her seasonal debut 14 days ago in the Listed Oaks Farm Stables Fillies' Stakes when only 3 1/2 lengths behind the winner Sounds Of Heaven in fifth.

That looked a strong race that will yield winners throughout the term and Clochette could be the first of them dropping in class.

Epsom - June 01 2023
Epsom 16:45
Pat Dobbs

Signcastle City

J: Pat Dobbs
T: Richard Hannon
Age: 3
Weight: 9-2
OR: 86
Days: 13

As we mentioned, for the same owners Signcastle City could still be well handicapped off a mark of 86, having ran well on both his handicap runs this term.

A smart juvenile running in some decent races behind some talented runners last year that gave him plenty of experience, starting his campaign off over a mile at Haydock this term in April when finishing a decent fifth in a race that has worked out extremely well with the first, third and sixth since winning.

Signcastle City was last seen at Newmarket when not beaten far back in third behind Havana Blue and Striking Star and running off 86 makes him interesting.