Epsom Friday Preview - 03/06/22

James Mackie | @JMackieRacing

Epsom - June 02 2022
Epsom 13:00
William Buick

Legend Of Xanadu

J: William Buick
T: Mick Channon
Age: 2
Weight: 9-7
Days: 18

The first event of the Derby festival is the Woodcote British EBF Stakes over six furlongs and the horse that takes the eye is the Mick Channon trained Legend Of Xanadu.

A very consistent horse in his four runs to date not finishing outside the top three in every event and last time out when stepping up to 6f got off the mark.

Sent to Redcar in the middle of May on good to soft ground he finally got his head in front having been unlucky on three occasions.

Stepping up to 6f he landed a Novice Stakes by close to six lengths and no finding his ideal trip he has every chance to stay progressive.

Harbouring a penalty he will need to be better but with Buick back in the saddle he has every chance.

Epsom - June 02 2022
Epsom 13:35
Callum Shepherd


J: Callum Shepherd
T: Charlie Fellowes
Age: 4
Weight: 8-13
OR: 88
Days: 12

Another tricky event follows and it sees the Class 2 World Pool Handicap Over 1m 1/2f and the horse that takes the eye at the weights is the Charlie Fellowes trained Seasatt.

A fairly smart four year old for a top yard, the son of Wootton Bassett has been seen three times this season, winning on seasonal debut at Nottingham on good to soft ground in a decent Class 3 Handicap.

Dropped down to 7f at Chelmsford it saw him give one of the worst runs of his career, but back up to a mile last time out at York, despite being drawn on the wrong side of the track, he went on to finish a very close fifth of 20.

Running off the same mark in this event back at his preferred trip, he can't be overlooked.

Epsom - June 02 2022
Epsom 14:10
Frankie Dettori


J: Frankie Dettori
T: William Muir & Chris Grassick
Age: 5
Weight: 9-2
OR: 120
Days: 69

One of the big races of the afternoon is the Group One Coronation Cup over 1m4f and we are siding with last year's winner Pyledriver for William Muir & Chris Grassick.

The now five year old has been a real success story for the fairly small yard over the last two year, making his seasonal debut in June 2020 when finishing second at Kempton, but since then improving with every run and showing he is a real black type performer.

He headed to Royal Ascot for his second start of the season and he was a shock winner of the Group Two King Edward VII Stakes.

The colt was given a Derby entry and went to Epsom but having being bumped in the big field early on he ran no race and as a far as Muir was concerned they drew a line through that run.

He proved how special he can be next time out when taking the Group Two Great Voltigeur Stakes at York's Ebor meeting, being eased down in the final stages.

The St Leger was next on the agenda and with many pundits fearing he would not stay, they were proved wrong as the three year old finished a length third behind winner Galileo Chrome.

Although seeing out the marathon trip his trainer believes he is best over 1 mile 4 furlongs, but he did not give his best running on his final start of that season when only seventh of 10 in the Group One Champion Stakes at Ascot.

Back for another term last year the son of Harbour Watch finished a decent second in the Group Two Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket behind the smart Sir Ron Priestley.

With that run under his belt Muir, as ever, was bullish about the chances of his star in this Group One event last term at Epsom and in a very gritty fashion, he got back up late on when passed by Al Aasy to land the Coronation Cup.

Having a setback after that event he was next seen back in November winning the Listed Churchill Stakes over 1m2f and that was used as a prep run for his second in the Group One Hong Kong Vase.

Given a break again he returned in Riyadh at Group Three level and ran no race at all, but bounced back in a big way last time out in the G1 Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan where he was a close fourth behind some smart stars.

That form sets the form.

Epsom - June 02 2022
Epsom 14:45
William Buick

Cap Francais

J: William Buick
T: Ian Williams
Age: 6
Weight: 9-3
OR: 98
Days: 28

Next up is the Class 2 Cazoo Handicap over 1m2f and we think the inform Cap Francais can go close at an each way prices, with him thriving of late.

A bright horse as a three year old finishing a head second in the Listed Blue Riband Derby Trial over course and distance, taking to the track really well.

He lost his way after that with Ed Walker only winning once more off a mark of 95 at Haydock over a mile and was moved to Ian Williams in the summer of last year.

Taking some time to warm up under Williams, this season he has looked a different animal, dropping down to a mark of 93 at Newmarket over 1m1f in April and winning a good handicap.

He went up 5lb for that run and last time out got going late at Chester and was only beaten a length in another nice handicap event.

Running off the same mark in this event with William Buick in the saddle, he can go well at a track he handles.

Epsom - June 02 2022
Epsom 15:30
Frankie Dettori

Emily Upjohn

J: Frankie Dettori
T: John & Thady Gosden
Age: 3
Weight: 9-2
OR: 110
Days: 23

The feature race of the afternoon at Epsom on Friday is the Group One Oaks Stakes over 1m4f for the fillies and we have a win and each way selection.

Our win selection for the Group One event is the strong favourite Emily Upjohn for training duo John & Thady Gosden and we think this daughter of Sea The Stars is extremely special.

Making her first start last year at Wolves over 9.5f she saw off a nice challenger for Godolphin in Secret Image, who then went onto frank the form.

Put away for this season, Emily Upjohn made her sole start this term at Sandown over 1m2f and in one of the most impressive performances in the division this season, she went on to win by close to 10 lengths under a penalty.

Stepping up into black type company for the first time in her career last time out she went to York for the Group Three Musidora Stakes and made it a hat-trick of wins, when dominating a good field by close to six lengths.

She looks to be a bit of a freak and should improve again for a step in trip to 1m4f.

Epsom - June 02 2022
Epsom 15:30
Seamie Heffernan

Concert Hall

J: Seamie Heffernan
T: A P O'Brien
Age: 3
Weight: 9-2
OR: 108
Days: 12

From an each way perspective and looking the value in the field at this stage is the Aidan O'Brien trained Concert Hall who can still be backed at 8/1 for the Oaks.

The three year old filly did not set the world alight as a two year old but looking to follow in the footsteps of Snowfall for the same yard last year, she has a similar profile in that regard.

Only winning two of her six events both over seven furlongs at the Curragh on good ground, she rounded off last term when stepping up to a mile and finishing sixth of nine in the Group One Fillies' Mile.

Improving massively during the winter, the filly returned for her first run as a two year old, up in trip to 1m2f and she got of the mark for the season in the Listed Salsabil Stakes.

Massively improving for the step up in trip it was strange to see her last time out drop back to a mile for the Irish 1000 Guineas.

However, the run did prove that the Oaks trip is exactly what she needs, staying on extremely well into third having been beaten for a bit of pace early on.

The further she went the better she became and we expect her to reverse the form with Tuesday and also improver again for the extra distance.

O'Brien has a superb record in this race winning six of the last 10 renewals of the Classic event.

Epsom - June 02 2022
Epsom 16:10
Ryan Moore

Dawn Of Liberation

J: Ryan Moore
T: Richard Hannon
Age: 3
Weight: 9-2
OR: 107
Days: 35

The penultimate event of the afternoon is the Listed Surrey Stakes over seven furlongs and Dawn Of Liberation for Richard Hannon could take some beating.

The smart son of Churchill was a bright juvenile racing three times and placing in every event, every time behind some very smart horses like Hoo Ya Mal, Reach For The Moon and Subastar.

Returning this season in March at Doncaster he got off the mark in fine style winning a 7f Novice Stakes by three lengths.

Upped in trip to 9f at Newmarket in the Listed Feilden stakes he ran no race at all, not handling the extra two furlongs.

Back down to his preferred mile at Goodwood in a Conditions Stakes he beat three good rivals and that form sets the standard.

Epsom - June 02 2022
Epsom 16:45
Hollie Doyle

Top Secret

J: Hollie Doyle
T: William Muir & Chris Grassick
Age: 5
Weight: 9-4
OR: 88
Days: 20

The final event of the afternoon is the Class 2 Handicap over seven furlongs and the horse that takes the eye is the William Muir & Chris Grassick trained Top Secret.

This five year old has been a very consistent horse for the yard since winning at Ascot over seven furlongs in the middle of last term.

Off the back of that he finished second at Newmarket and then stepped up to a mile at Newbury and finished runner up again.

Back at Ascot for his penultimate run of last season he won a Class 2 Handicap in comfortable style, but then over the same course and distance he ran no sort of race.

Making his seasonal debut this term he got back to form when second to the talented Muraad in a similar event to this off a career high mark of 86.

Off only 2lb higher and obviously still progressing, he could go close.