THERE is simply no other race in the world that is anything like the Investec Dash. It will be over in around 55 seconds and the jockeys will never go as all season long.
While riding a horse in a field of 20 down Epsom’s undulating home straight and pronounced camber requires plenty of guts, skill and strength, picking the winner of this sprint contest is also very tough.
With all that said, apprentice Conor Murtagh looks to have the plum ride coming out of stall 20 on the Richard Fahey-trained KIMBERELLA.
Experience over this unique track can prove invaluable and my selection missed out on first prize by just a short head in this race 12 months ago.
He’s since been in cracking form, chalking up four wins and two seconds, and heads into this race on the back of a solid seventh in the Group Three Palace House Stakes at Newmarket.
He was battling it out with some top-level performers that day and, although today’s race looks mightily competitive, he’s dangerous back down in the handicap.
Granted he’s having to carry more than a stone than he did last year, but he’s improved a fair bit and Murtagh takes a valuable seven pounds out of the saddle.
He’s got the perfect draw in 20, which I thought would have seen his price contract when announced, but he’s still available at 10/1 with Star Sports. That looks a cracking each-way bet.
Seasoned sprinter Duke Of Firenze is likely to be in the shake-up again, having won this race back in 2013 and finished third in last year’s renewal.
The eight-year-old showed that the fire still burns when winning a competitive handicap at York last time out and his trainer, David Griffiths, is brilliant at tuning them up for the big day.
Also on the shortlist has to be Desert Law. He was second to Stone Of Folca in 2012, the race that entered the record books for the fastest ever five furlongs, before going one better in 2013.
Outside of the familiar faces, El Astronaute could go well. He’s an improving four-year-old who could prove to be well-handicapped.
Although his draw in stall seven isn’t ideal, he’s one of just five course and distance winners in the field and shouldn’t be ruled out.