* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.
It’s not the strongest lineup for this 6f contest that gets us underway for the Oaks and Derby meeting. A few of these bring in winning form from Brighton, so you would imagine they will handle this tricky track. Already Gone wasn’t knocked about on his racecourse debut at Goodwood and with the winner going on to post a decent effort in a very strong contest at York, the form looks good. He’s going to be a massive price and it’s hard to see him winning, but he may well just get a slice of the action at a huge each-way price.
Irish Admiral was a very decent performer when trained in Ireland and has continued that progression for the new handler on his two tries in the UK. He picked up a poor contest at Wolverhampton in decent fashion and then stepped up dramatically in company at York. He travelled so strongly up towards the leaders and then just flattened off towards the end over slightly further so the drop in trip should help. He’s only been put up 1lb by the handicapper and he looks as if he is nowhere near his ceiling.
Japan has long been a firm favourite of mine and he produced a super performance on his return at Chester, despite not particularly liking the softer underfoot conditions. He was also a little undercooked and overweight for that reappearance and should be nearing his peak for his first Group 1 ask of the season. Al Aasy has obvious claims being impressive on both his runs so far, but the drying conditions are not in his favour. With a crowd reappearing at the track, he can sometimes lose his race in the preliminaries with the noise and hustle and bustle before getting to the start.
Blue Cup was so unlucky on his return over course and distance, it can only be described as a horror story for all his backers and connections as well. It was X-rated stuff as he was continuously shut off from a clear run, wherever he went. He went to York and started a red-hot favourite but pulled way too hard and ran himself into submission early on. We can put a line through that run. The addition of the hood and the booking of Oisin Murphy, can see him gain some compensation.
- CHECK OUT OUR BRAND NEW SNAZZY RACECARDS FOR EVERY SINGLE RACE TODAY
- … THEN GET ALL THE WINNERS BEFORE ANYONE ELSE WITH OUR FAST RESULTS
I couldn’t believe how much condition Santa Barbara was carrying for her return effort in the 1,000 Guineas at headquarters, yet remarkably she still managed to finish in fourth place. Given how much the Ballydoyle’s runners have been improving for their initial return to action, we can expect a serious jolt of improvement. This could be nothing more than a lap of honour and we could be treated to the start of something truly spectacular on the racecourse.
Mystery Smiles was keeping very smart company as a juvenile down at a sprinting distance. His return effort over a mile at Newmarket was very promising leading into last month’s 2,000 Guineas, however, he disappointed. He never really getting involved and connections now drop him back down in distance and reach for the headgear for the first time. He’s drawn on the fence so expect him to be ridden aggressively and to take advantage of that spot. The orders to the jockey should be ‘point and shoot’.
Arigato has found his rating finally dropping back down to a competitive 87 and his return run would’ve put him spot on for this assignment. He goes well for jockey Josephine Gordon and his only other run around Epsom wasn’t a bad effort in the circumstances as he was held up, too far off the pace. William Jarvis’ yard are having a good run so he has plenty in his favour, despite being drawn slightly wide.
- Gallop over to Paddy Power News for all the latest racing tips
- Horse Racing tips: Mick Fitzgerald’s best bets on Epsom Oaks day
- Horse Racing Tips: Matt Chapman’s Epsom Oaks day picks on ITV Racing
- Ruby Walsh: The ‘incredible’ Epsom Derby winner I’d love to have ridden