If you're thinking of having a bet at Epsom on Derby day, our betting guide to all five televised races is a must-read.
Having unearthed a 9/1 winner on Oaks Friday – Gratzie, hope you were on? – our resident tipster has been encouraged to burn the midnight oil and come up with a tip for each of the five Channel 4-televised races on Derby Day.
2.00: Investec Private Banking Handicap, 1m2f18yds
It’s hard to get away from Sir Michael Stoute’s STRAVAGANTE on his third to Derby fancy Jack Hobbs on his reappearance at Sandown in April and the trainer does tend to use this handicap to progress his better three-year-olds, as victories by Conduit and Stage Gift show. Granted, the selection finished well adrift at the Esher track know but, considering he endured a rough passage through the race, he was perhaps unlucky not to finish a clear second best. The handicapper thought the same as he’s nudged him up 4lb to a new mark of 89, but this progressive sort is almost certainly capable of peaking somewhere in the high 90s. Ryan Moore gets the leg up and I doubt he’ll be hanging around on a track that appears to be favouring prominent runners. He’s favourite at 7/2 with bet365 and may go off shorter.
2.35: Investec Woodcote Stakes (Listed), 6f
Mark Johnston has a huge team of two-year-olds at his disposal and he has some highly talented ones amongst them judging on results so far. He runs two here in Aleko and Buratino, with both having already found the winners’ enclosure. The former was impressive when scoring on his Haydock debut and is just preferred over his stablemate with Adam Kirby up. However, I’m going to take a chance on Ralph Beckett’s MISS MONEYPENNY. She broke smartly from the stalls when winning over 5f at Windsor last time and a similar quick getaway here would make her hard to catch. She’s stepping up a furlong but, given how well she saw the Windsor race out, I don’t see that being a problem and she’s value against the Johnston runners at Paddy Power’s 9/1.
3.10: Investec Coronation Cup (Group 1), 1m4f10yds
British winners of this Group 1 are few and far between with just one – Ask in 2009 – in the last ten years. That record is most unlikely to improve here as the betting is dominated by a couple of Gallic raiders; Alain de Royer-Dupre’s filly DOLNIYA and Andre Fabre’s Flintshire, who clashed in last year’s Arc, finishing fifth and second respectively behind Treve. They’ve met again twice since and Dolniya has come out on top on both occasions, and by an increasing margin. She’s clearly still improving, whilst Flintshire is not at the age of five, and 1m4f around Epsom should suit her well. It’s just a shame she’s an odds-on shot – 10/11 best with William Hill – and therefore ‘no bet’ for me.
3.45: Investec Corporate Banking ‘Dash’ (Heritage Handicap), 5f
This is far more like it with bookmakers going 7/1 the field and backers will soon know their fate as they’re racing over the quickest five furlongs in the world – Stone Of Folca set the current record of 53.69 seconds on Derby day 2012. Caspian Prince showed blistering speed to win 12 months ago and he’s back for another crack from what looks a favourable draw in stall 14 – high numbers have traditionally fared best and the first five home last year were drawn 14, 17, 12, 13 and 15. But he’s 11lb higher in the weights now and the runner-up, the Clive Cox-trained Seeking Magic, can turn the tables on today’s more favourable terms from what is an okay draw in 11.
However, he’s a single figure price at 8/1, whereas his stablemate PERFECT MUSE, who also has plenty in her favour, is available to back at 14/1 (bet365). She too looks to have been laid out for the race and, having won three times last season, made a perfectly respectable return to action when third at Goodwood. There are similarities between that track and Epsom, the downhill section in particular, and Cox has gone to the trouble of booking talented claimer Cam Hardie, who takes a handy 3lb off his back. Her draw in stall 16 is the icing on the cake.
4.30: Investec Derby (Group 1), 1m4f10yds
I was asked a couple of weeks ago to come up with an ante post tip for the Classic and I had no hesitation in putting up Golden Horn as the bet at 2/1 (7/4 best now). Not much of a price, I know, but he’d just won the Dante Stakes in impressive fashion and the York race has proved a solid recent guide. You can read my lengthy reasons why he should win elsewhere on this site, so I won’t regurgitate them here, but instead I’ll give you a solid each-way alternative.
They were hard to find when I wrote the piece as the Derby picture was far from clear, and there are still question marks over the majority of the runners in terms of stamina and whether they will act on the track. So, while I think Golden Horn is still by far the most likely winner and I genuinely believe he will stay, the other one to back is GIOVANNI CANALETTO (9/1 Paddy Power). He was all but ruled out after meeting with defeat (at evens) in the Gallinule Stakes on his return to action 13 days ago, but he should come on a bundle for that run and his pedigree – he’s a brother to Derby winner Ruler Of The World – suggests he’ll relish every yard of the 1m4f trip. The stable landed Friday’s Oaks with 50/1 shot Qualify, who like him had been running over inadequate trips, and we therefore shouldn’t be too surprised if we were to do something similar. Ryan Moore, who got chinned on the line when riding Legatissimo for the same connections in the fillies’ Classic, will be keen to make amends.
There are free bets to be had at bet365 thanks to their Channel 4/1 Offer. Back a winner at 4/1 or bigger in any of the above Channel 4-televised races and they will give you a free bet to the same stake (up to £50 per customer per race) on the next race shown live on Channel 4. If that also wins at 4/1 or bigger, get another free bet and so on.
Good luck with your Epsom bets!