Horse Racing Betting Tips: Take a Shot in the Dark with Epsom specialist
AFTER a long weekend of glorious sunshine, the weather is set to change with plenty of rain forecast over the coming days.
The question is how much will fall at Epsom today ahead of their Investec-sponsored Derby Trial card and what effect it will have on ground currently described as Good (Good to Firm in places).
My guess is that not enough will fall to dramatically change the going and horses who prefer good ground should still have things in their favour.
Racing kicks off with the Investec Asset Finance Handicap (2.10pm) over Epsom’s flying five furlongs with the first five home from last year’s contest set to take their chance again.
Bahamian Sunrise avoided all the trouble that day and will surely be competitive again off a 4lb lower mark with the champion jockey Silvestre de Sousa booked to ride.
However, he has been beaten in all 11 starts since and needs everything to go right again.
Last year’s selection Shamshon went agonisingly close to winning and only just failed by a head to reel in Bahamian Sunrise.
He lines up off the same mark and is another who won’t be far away. Both may have their work cut out to beat Scott Dixon’s DARK SHOT who has an impressive record at the track and goes particularly well fresh.
Only beaten a neck by El Astronaute on his seasonal reappearance last May, the six-year-old has been to Epsom twice before in his career, running in the last two renewals of the Dash on Derby Day.
He was beaten a short head by Caspian Prince when trained by Andrew Balding back in 2017 and then returned to finish fifth 12 months ago when sent off a well-backed 11/2 favourite.
This afternoon he races off an 8lb lower mark and surely won’t be far away from his decent draw just one off the favoured stand-side rail.
At a much bigger price, I am also going to chance my arm with a small each-way bet on George Baker’s HARRY HURRICANE.
He is 10lbs lower than when fifth in this race 12 months ago and with his stable in good form, he is just overpriced.
There may only be six runners scheduled to take their chance in the Investec Wealth Novice Stakes (4.25pm), but it looks an intriguing contest.
The eye is immediately drawn to the impeccably bred Casanova who is trained by John Gosden and ridden by Frankie Dettori.
His only run so far came on the all-weather last November and the son of Frankel fluffed the start but showed plenty of promise running on late to finish fourth.
There is little doubt that he is a winner waiting to happen, but I prefer the chances of the twice-raced CURRENT OPTION for the in-form William Haggas.
He showed plenty of promise in both starts as a two-year-old and could take some beating in the colours of former Investec supremo Bernard Kantor.
Finally, in the Investec Private Banking Handicap (5.00pm), it is hard to be confident in such a competitive looking renewal limited to three-year-olds, some of whom are tackling a handicap for the first time.
That said, I cannot help but take a chance on Brian Meehan’s BARBAROSA who is wearing a hood for the first time.
That may help him in his first handicap start along with the fact that he is stepped up in trip.
With the yard in good form he should go well and prove in time that a mark of 75 underestimates his ability.
Dark Shot 2.10pm Epsom
Harry Hurricane e/w 2.10pm Epsom
Current Option 4.25pm Epsom
Barbarosa e/w 5.00pm Epsom