RACE 1 1.35pm
Investec Out Of The Ordinary Handicap
HOPEFULLY as you are reading this the sun is shining and you are enjoying a glass of something cold and wet. But if the weather forecasters are to be believed, you could be using this very paper as an impromptu umbrella and feeling rather cold and wet.
Nobody knows how much rain Epsom is going to get today and the ground could be anything between good and heavy by the time the runners go to post for the opening Investec Out Of The Ordinary Stakes.
This race has been won by some top quality horses over the years, most notably Dandino in 2010 and Conduit in 2008. On the other hand, quite a few rags have won it, and if anyone managed to pick the tricast last year they would have picked up a cool £7272.58 from their £1 investment.
It is a race with a number of unexposed types and the one that immediately caught my eye right at the bottom was William Haggas’ FLIPPANT.
This daughter of Pivotal broke her maiden at the third attempt last season before slightly disappointing in one of those big Newmarket sales races at the back-end of the campaign.
That seven furlong trip was probably a shade too short and she showed great character on her seasonal reappearance when getting up on the line over a mile at Chepstow on soft ground.
Her breeding suggests the step up to 10 furlongs will suit and, if the deluge does arrive, we know she will handle conditions. The final piece of the jigsaw is that she is owned by Investec’s managing director, Bernard Kantor. Just maybe, this has been the plan all along. It is difficult to rule out any of the other 10 runners in the line-up, including Flippant’s stablemate Yenhaab. He was a ready winner of a Ripon maiden before running respectably in a decent race at Newmarket last time.
Marco Botti’s Al Busayyir also has to be respected going for the hat-trick. He was gutsy at Redcar last time, and proved he could handle some cut in the ground, although he could go off a fairly short price.
I was disappointed with What About Carlo in the Silver Bowl at Haydock when conditions looked right up his street. In contrast, Black Shadow was impressive at Goodwood last time and will love any rain that falls.
Mark Johnston always sends down an army of handicappers to this meeting and it’s difficult to split his trio. Stars Over The Sea ran well in the Derby Trial here in April and was then perhaps flying too high in the Chester Vase.
Lyn Valley possibly did too much in front at Haydock so you’d expect Adam Kirby to try to settle him mid-pack as he isn’t a guaranteed stayer. And Double Bluff put in a poor effort in the Lingfield Derby Trial last time.
This looks a very open race, but I’m happy to stick with Flippant and let’s hope we hear some loud cheers from the sponsor’s box.
FLIPPANT 1.35pm Epsom (today)