My contrarian selections for Epsom on Day 1....

Last Updated: 02.06.2016

Thursday, 2nd June 2016

Good afternoon, contrarians,

On the menu today….

  • Diamonds to shine in the Oaks (Epsom, Friday 4.30)….
  • The pick of the prices in the Investec Mile (Epsom, Friday 3.45)….

Diamonds to shine in the Oaks….

The Oaks Stakes at Epsom tomorrow afternoon (4.30) looks sure to be run on ground with a bit of ease after plenty of rain on both Tuesday and Wednesday.

The ground is described as soft this afternoon. The forecast is for cloud without rain between now and the off. That should dry things a little but I’d still expect there to be a little juice in the surface.

That will be no inconvenience to my selection DIAMONDS POUR MOI – a filly I consider over-priced at this afternoon’s general 25s. I’ll be backing her each-way with one of the firms offering place terms of 1/4 1-2-3.

Ralph Beckett is a dab hand with fillies as his record over the years illustrates. He’s won top races with the likes of Look Here, Talent, Secret Gesture and Simple Verse. The first-two named both won the Oaks. And this daughter of the 2011 Derby-winner Pour Moi can add another competitive run to that record.

The price about Diamonds Pour Moi, to a large extent, is based on her defeat in the Cheshire Oaks where she was 3rd of 8 behind Somehow.

On the face of it that isn’t form that entitles her to win an Oaks. But she was making her seasonal reappearance (the winner had the benefit of a run); it was only her second racecourse appearance (she was the least experienced horse in the field); and she got pushed about a bit on the bend….

Despite all that she was only beaten a length by Somehow. That one reopposes tomorrow at half Diamonds Pour Moi’s price and whilst both horses (indeed all the runners in the race) are entitled to make loads of progression, the price about the Beckett horse suggests she’s making up the numbers. And that isn’t the case….

Ralph Beckett wasn’t writing her off for the Oaks after the race at Chester and she arrives on a mark of 95, a pound above the rating Look Here won the Oaks off for Beckett after being beaten in her prep-race at Lingfield.

That one was sent off 33s on the day. Talent was sent off at 25s. Beckett’s has the knack of trumping the market’s view of his horses and I take that to be the case again with Diamonds Pour Moi tomorrow afternoon. She is likely to be better than her price suggests.

The pick of the prices in the Investec Mile….

Earlier on the Friday afternoon card at Epsom we’ve got the Investec Mile (3.45) – a handicap event over the extended mile trip….

FIELDSMAN is the one I want to be with at the 10s with Betfair Sportsbook or the 9s with Paddy Power….

He won his seasonal reappearance and his first appearance for new trainer George Scott – having moved to Ed Dunlop’s yard. He’s been gelded in the meantime and that no-doubt contributed to what was a new ‘top’ (on my personal ratings at least) at Newmarket.

Yes he was on the right side of the track that day – the side where all the pace was. But he still had to get the job done and he did so with a bit of tenacity at the end – running on well.

He’s entitled to progress again for that first-time-up effort and this step-up in trip – around the bends rather than up a straight – could well see him to better effect too. He’s a decent enough price against a number of opponents representing out of out-of-form yards.

The Contrarian Bet Box….

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

In the Oaks Stakes (Epsom, Friday 4.30)....

  • Nick’s Contrarian Picks – DIAMONDS POUR MOI each-way (25s generally)

In the Investec Mile (Epsom, Friday 3.45)....

  • Nick’s Contrarian Picks – FIELDSMAN each-way (10s Betfair Sportsbook & 9s Paddy Power)

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.

 

That’s all from me for today. I’ll be back tomorrow afternoon with my bets for Derby day. Stay tuned.

Nick Pullen

Against the Crowd