Epsom selections Friday 3rd June
Oaks day at Epsom and the field sizes are very healthy today throughout the card which is not always the case. I have a selection for the big race to take on the market leaders, plus selections for the two big handicaps on the card.
Epsom 2.35: Carolus Magnus
Still lightly race for a 4yo, CAROLUS MAGNUS holds all the right attributes for an Epsom runner and he looks the most solid option for this opening handicap.
A winner at the Craven meeting early in his career last season, he is now slowly building on that promise. He finished the season with another fast ground win at Newmarket over this mile trip and is fully proven at this distance. However he does seem to favour a speed track, whilst Newmarket’s undulations hold no terrors for him, so there is every reason to think he will handle Epsom.
He could probably have done with a stronger pace back at Newmarket last time, where he stayed on into second, and will surely get that in a bigger field today.
Epsom 3.45: Caradoc & Moktasaab
Two stand out in this classy handicap.
CARADOC has done well this season in races that have not been run to suit, either over an inadequate mile, or in a slowly run race at Goodwood over this 10f trip. What he has done each time is finish strongly and a stronger pace looks assured today which will play to his strengths. He was given an impossible task in this race two years ago, so the key will be for Tom Marquand to get him at least halfway up the field turning for home.
He has a host of top performances in his career in big handicaps, winning at Newbury and placing at the likes of Glorious Goodwood and the Ebor fixture at York. He looks no back number at the age of seven and is in peak form for today.
However you cannot ignore how impressive MOKTASAAB has been in two runs since joining William Knight. Owner Harry Redknapp paid a whopping six figure fee for him last autumn, a huge amount for a then 84 rated handicapper.
However the money looks well spent on the evidence of smooth wins at Goodwood and Newbury and he will recoup a lot of that sales price if he wins today. If so, there is every chance he will be contesting lucrative group races moving forward. A strong traveller, the way he handled Goodwood suggests no problems around this track and his natural cruising speed should be a huge asset around Epsom.
Epsom 4.30: Tuesday
With Aidan O’Brien saddling his usual group of runners, this race will surely be run to suit his stamina laden fillies and that could prove the undoing of the class in the field, Emily Upjohn (keen goer) and Nashwa (very speedy filly) who won’t necessarily enjoy a war of attrition. Instead TUESDAY looks the each-way angle in opposition.
This full sister to 2016 heroine Minding, Tuesday ran a race full of promise in the English 1000 Guineas, just lacking the natural pace to pull back Cachet at Newmarket. I was surprised to see her line up at the Curragh for the Irish version two weeks ago, and she ran a very similar race, holding every chance until Homeless Songs superior speed could not be matched late on.
This always looked the natural race for her and significantly Ryan Moore has chosen her over several alternatives, with the third home at the Curragh, Concert Hall and Chester winner Thoughts of June, worthy opponents.
1pt each-way – Carolus Magnus – 2.35 Epsom – 7/1 general (most bookies 1/5 odds 1st 5)
1pt each-way – Caradoc – 3.45 Epsom – 15/2 general (most bookies 1/5 odds 1st 4)
1pt win – Moktasaab – 3.45 Epsom – 3/1 BetVictor
1pt each-way – Tuesday – 4.30 Epsom – 9/1 Bet365 (1/5 odds 1st 4)