The contrarian word on Day 1 at Epsom....

Last Updated: 31.05.2018

Thursday, 31st May 2018 

The contrarian word on Day 1 at Epsom….

5s is not a typical price for this column but sometimes it pays to stick with pragmatism rather than to reach for a price unnecessarily....

Tomorrow afternoon’s Investec Click & Invest Mile Handicap (2.35) is only contested by 9-runners. We can’t expect the proper big prices that a 16-20-runners race throws up – and the 5s about MEDBURN DREAM is fair enough in the context....

First-time-up this term, on just his second run for Peter Hedger, and on his first run since being gelded, the 5yo did what he likes to do down at Windsor and won making all under Andrea Atzeni....

That race should have teed him up just right for a crack at this bigger prize....

And with it raining earlier this week and rain forecast between now and the off, Peter Hedger’s horse will be getting his preferred ground....

He’s won on soft ground over this trip at the track before – back in June 2016. For sure, that was a low-quality race and tomorrow’s opponents are better and will be harder to dominate....

But Medburn Dream is a better horse too. And he has the look of a horse running into form. Plus, I like the booking of Franny Norton....

Norton was on the horse earlier in his career when he was making his moves up the scale. He was on the horse for his first run at Hedger’s yard. And, perhaps most significantly, Norton was on the horse when he produced that win over tomorrow’s course and distance.

I reckon they’ll be looking to pull that same trick off again. And the 5s is a fair price that the 5yo can do it....

  • Back again....

A little later in the day at 3.45 in the Investec Wealth & Investment Handicap, I take Hughie Morrison’s NOT SO SLEEPY to come back do what he did last year – winning this off a mark of 98.

Again, it’s another smaller field – 11-runners this time – and the big prices are not there. At least not big prices I can make a case for without reaching....

But the general 8s, 9s and 10s about this horse is a fair price given that the horse is back down to that last winning mark and this time around gets soft ground that should suit as well if not better than the good surface he won on last year....

The yard has hit a bit of form, Adam Kirby – who rides the horse regularly and was aboard in last year’s renewal – continues with duties in the saddle....

And I like the condition the horse is turning up in. Forget the run in the Lincoln at Doncaster. I don’t think much was expected that day and he raced alone on the stands rail....

Next time at Chester was more informative. He produced a nice effort – one that he can build off.

We know he likes the track and the going will be fine. There’s a lot to like and the price is fair enough in the context of the race....

The Contrarian Bet Box….

To recap on where my contrarian money will be going tomorrow afternoon….

In the Investec Click & Invest Mile Handicap (2.35 @ Epsom):

  • Nick’s Contrarian Picks – MEDBURN DREAM (5s generally)

In the Investec Wealth & Investment Handicap (Time @ Track):

  • Nick’s Contrarian Picks – NOT SO SLEEPY (8s, 9s & 10s generally)

That is my take on where the value lies – but you will no doubt have your own ideas and that’s exactly as it should be.

  • The last word….

That’s all from me for today.

Win, lose or draw – enjoy the racing....

I’ll be back tomorrow with my take on the Derby day action at Epsom....

Until then. Stay tuned.

Nick Pullen

Against the Crowd