Saturday is Cazoo Derby Day at Epsom featuring, along with the world’s most famous Flat race, two Group 3 contests along with four fiendishly difficult handicaps. We will provide Horse Racing tips, previews and predictions for the great Classic, due to be run at 4.30pm, as well as two other races on the card.
The “Dash” at 3.45pm is always a spectacular test of speed. We will supply a value Horse Racing tip for this handicap run over the minimum trip, along with the extended one mile Group 3 Cazoo Diomed Stakes at 3.10pm.
Our Tip for the 3.10pm at Epsom:
The winner of his only start as a juvenile, the Andrew Balding-trained Bell Rock failed to make the grade in Listed and Group company the following year, since when the Kingman gelding has been running with credit in handicaps.
Now a five-year-old, the mount of Oisin Murphy, apart from when encountering very soft ground at Ascot on Champions Day, has been a model of consistency in some of the season’s most competitive big-field handicaps.
In particular, Bell Rock’s victory over a decent horse in Maydanny in a Newmarket contest on his reappearance was probably a career-best. This reliable performance may now be ready to make the transition into Group 3 company in a race which looks more than winnable.
The three-year-old Maximal can prove the main danger based on his second placings behind French and English Derby contenders El Drama and Hurricane Lane.
Our Tip for the 3.45pm at Epsom:
This downhill sprint handicap run over the minimum trip is a unique experience for many horses, some of which take to the race, while others find things happening a little more quickly than they would like.
One horse who has made this race his own in recent years with no fewer than three victories (2014,2016,2017), is the Michael Appleby-trained Caspian Prince. The Dylan Thomas gelding may now have reached the grand old age of 12, but Alistair Rawlinson’s mount still retains plenty of speed.
From seven attempts at today’s course and distance, Caspian Prince has recorded four wins, those three defeats coming off marks of 108, 106 and 114. Now running off his lowest rating (96) for seven years, the veteran sprinter is capable of giving his younger rivals a lesson by making a bold bid from the front.
In a race where luck can play a major role, Caspian Prince’s draw in stall four should ensure a clear passage, while of those berthed high, Stone Of Destiny, Sunday Sovereign and Only Spoofing could prove dangerous if getting the run of the race.
Our Tip for the 4.30pm at Epsom:
The 2021 Cazoo Derby poses far more questions than answers. Does the Aidan O’Brien trained favourite Bolshoi Ballet really deserve to be as short as even money for the world’s most famous Flat race, considering recent above average winners Authorized, Sea The Stars, Australia and Golden Horn were all sent off at bigger odds?
Will Mac Swiney stay the trip of 1m 4f and handle the faster conditions? And after winning their respective trials, is the form recorded by Mohaafeth, John Leeper, Hurricane Lane or Third Realm up to the standard expected of a Derby winner?
With so much uncertainty around the Classic, and the fact that the average price of the last five winners is just under 19/1, it could pay to look for a lively outsider, particularly with several bookmakers expected to offer four places.
With that in mind, the horse who makes plenty of each-way appeal at a decent price is the Joseph O’Brien-trained Southern Lights. The son of Sea The Stars was strongly fancied to make a winning debut as a two-year-old at Naas last September and ran a race full of promise in losing out by just a head.
After recording an easy victory in a Leopardstown maiden on his reappearance, the mount of Declan McDonogh was next seen in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at that course, eventually finishing an eight and a half length sixth.
While Bolshoi Ballet ran out an impressive winner, Southern Lights met plenty of trouble in running and with that run under his belt the unexposed colt can be expected to finish much closer to the short priced favourite.
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