2nd June 2017
In this week’s issue….
We’re down at Epsom for tomorrow afternoon’s target race – the Dash Handicap (3.45). It’s a class 2 event over the fast and downhill 5f strip for horses aged 3yo+.
A field of 20 runners goes to post on ground that is drying out all the time….
There’s a smattering of light rain forecast over the track early tomorrow afternoon. But not a deluge. If the Met Office forecasts can be relied upon – and it’s not always the case – then we’ll have decent ground to race on.
Duke of Firenze heads the betting. Fair enough he won a nice handicap at York a fortnight back and David Griffiths has him in fine fettle again.
But that York win was achieved off a mark of 103 and the handicapper reacted by raising the 8yo to a mark of 107. That’s a lifetime high and things aren’t getting any easier for the horse.
Desert Law, a previous race winner, is well-fancied. He produced a sequence of clunkers at the back end of last season – dropping from 99 to 86 in the process. But first-time-up this term, off that historically low mark, he won readily at Musselburgh.
Paul Midgley appears to have his charge back. But the horse has gone up 8lb for that victory and, at a general 7s, he’s plenty short enough in the book for me.
We’ll get to my selections for tomorrow’s race in a moment….
Sutter County won for us last week. On my paid service, we got two placers at 33s and 20s – following on from two winners the previous weekend.
We’re on a run and hoping to keep it going in tomorrow’s Derby at Epsom. It’s an open renewal with a big field going to post and none of them having met a critical yardstick most Derby winners have.
It’s a perfect recipe for a ‘shock’ result. I’m siding with one I expect to improve for both the trip and the quicker ground – at a big price.
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The one I like at the prices is Robert Cowell’s ORVAR at a big 25s – and I’ll be going in each way.
Cowell is a master with the sprinters and I expect him to work his magic with this ex-inmate of Richard Hannon’s yard.
Cowell has only had the horse since October last year – and has run him three times. First time up he pitched him into a valuable handicap at York where he did nothing. He tried him again at Doncaster and it was a similar outcome.
This term Cowell waited until mid-May to reintroduce his charge to the track. He appeared at Lingfield – a downhill track like Epsom. Were they giving him a taster? Checking how he handles downhill running?
We can’t know. But he was fancied and the money was down. On the day, he bumped into something more progressive. And maybe the cut in the ground didn’t help. But he ran a promising enough race in 2nd and you’d expect him to come on for it.
He gets a sounder surface tomorrow, which will help. And in terms of the weight he’s used to carrying, tomorrow’s 8-07 will have him feeling like he’s loose. Liam Jones comes in for the ride.
He goes off a mark of just 92 tomorrow. When you consider he was rated as high as 100 when starting out on his 3yo season for Hannon, you can see the potential margin Cowell has to work with if he’s got him firing again.
That first-time-back effort at Lingfield suggests Cowell has learnt plenty about his new charge over the winter and is ready to capitalize on that mark. The 25s is an attractive price.
ORVAR @ 25s (Generally)
The standard place terms are 1/4 1-2-3-4. I’ll certainly be backing this one each-way.
That’s all from me this week. Enjoy your weekend.