RACE 4 3.45pm
Investec Corporate Banking Dash
BLINK and you’ll miss it. The Investec Corporate Banking Dash is the fastest five furlong race run anywhere in the world.
As soon as the gates open you’ll have less than a minute to enjoy the action. But it’s always packed full of drama and hard luck stories to boot.
The draw is very important on this downhill course as those who are in the low stalls suffer the worst of Epsom’s camber.
They run down the hill with one pair of legs considerably higher than the other and that is a tough challenge when travelling at speeds of up to 40mph.
Those drawn against the stands rail have a much more even surface, so they are more balanced which is why the majority of the field normally makes a beeline for the rail causing the inevitable traffic problems behind.
Just look at last year’s renewal when the first five home were drawn 12 or higher – there is definitely a bias here and it is a major advantage to be housed in a high stall.
That’s not to say that you can’t win from the other side. Stone Of Folca burst out of trap two in 2012 and didn’t see another rival, clocking the world’s fastest ever five-furlong time. As an unheralded 50/1 shot he broke a few hearts among punters too.
However, a high draw is normally what is required and trainer Tony Carroll will be pleased that his winner of this race 12 months ago, Caspian Prince, has been allotted stall 14, the same berth as last year.
This is a very speedy horse indeed, but he is now 11lb higher in the weights and it’s going to be very difficult for him to win off such a high mark.
The first one I’m interested in is last year’s runner-up, SEEKING MAGIC, who was beaten just a head by Caspian Prince, yet has a massive 17lb pull in the weights this time.
It’s true that Caspian Prince has improved and my selection has regressed slightly, but he comes alive at Epsom and his reappearance at Newmarket looked like the perfect pipe-opener for this race.
Clive Cox’s seven-year-old is in stall 11 which isn’t bad at all and he is worth backing at 8/1 with Betway.
The other one to catch my eye since the draw was made is Seeking Magic’s stablemate PERFECT MUSE who looks like an improving mare.
This daughter of July Cup and Nunthorpe winner Oasis Dream has been placed in 10 of her 12 career starts, which is incredibly consistent for a sprinter.
Undoubtedly, this will be the best race she’s ever contested, but she’s got a great draw in 16 and has promising 3lb claimer Cam Hardie in the saddle.
I was impressed with her comeback at Goodwood last time behind another of today’s rivals, Humidor, and that will have blown away the cobwebs. The 14/1 with Betway is a fair each-way price.
Although Cox is yet to win this race, he has trained some very good sprinters in recent years, such as Lethal Force and Reckless Abandon. These two definitely aren’t up to that level, but they should give you a good run for your money this afternoon.
Of the others, Steps normally runs well in this type of race, yet he doesn’t hold any secrets from the handicapper and he would surely prefer a softer surface.
I was tempted to back Monumental Man, who is two from two at this track and absolutely bolted up on Investec Derby Trial day back in April. However, he’s been given a terrible draw in stall three and he will need to break very smartly to have any chance.
That is by no means impossible, as he has excellent gate speed, but his price hasn’t drifted to 16/1 or higherwhen I might be tempted.
There are loads of others in here that have claims and a number who have run well, or even won this race in the past.
But I’m happy to stick with the two Cox speedsters in the firm belief that one of them will be good enough to bring home the bacon.
SEEKING MAGIC e/w
PERFECT MUSE e/w