EPSOM HANDICAP – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
HISTORY: Race named after famous racecourse in south of England where Epsom Derby run since 1780. Run over famous Randwick “mile” since 1865 when won by Dundee
NOTABLE WINNERS: Amounis (1926, 1928), Chatham (1932-33), Shannon (1945), Sky High (1961), Toi Port (1963-64), Cabochon (1967), Gunsynd (1971), Triton (1972), Super Impose (1990-91), Desert War (2004-05
* Dundee proved win inaugural Epsom no fluke when completing Randwick mile double in first Doncaster Handicap in 1866
* Others to complete Epsom-Doncaster double in same season include Marvel (1891-92), Chatham (1933-34), Blue Legend (1946-47), Broker’s Tip (1969-70), Gunsynd (1971-72), Authentic Heir (1975-76)
* Super Impose won both races 1990 and again 1991
* TJ Smith and daughter Gai Waterhouse most successful trainers, each winning race seven times
* Boban trying to win back-to-back Epsoms for premier Sydney trainer Chris Waller who also has Royal Descent, He’s Your Man and Lucky Chappy
* In 2011, Secret Admirer first mare to win since La Neige in 1976. Royal Descent only mare to run on Saturday
PATTERN: Early speed drawn inside and out with Star Rolling in gate two and Laser Hawk from gate 12 considered go-forward horses. Gai Waterhouse stablemates Liberty’s Choice and Phiedon also settle near front. Look for Boban, He’s Your Man and Ninth Legion to be midfield. Backmarkers trying to run on will be favourite Royal Decsent and Toydini.
FANCIED RUNNERS: Weight-for-age form holds up, making Royal Descent worthy favourite despite extended absence from winners’ list. He’s Your Man back from 2000m, a proven distance drop in Randwick miles. Blinkers on Toydini who is well placed handicap conditions. Boban looked sharp in barrier trial win and Ninth Legion rates on Doncaster Mile run in autumn
BEST OF THE OUTSIDERS: Victorian Star Rolling likely improver on unplaced WFA runs in Dato Tan Chin Nam and Underwood. At best in on-pace role, typified by PB Lawrence win to start spring campaign. Liberty’s Choice backs up from favourable draw after Shannon placing. Over the odds as one of Gai Waterhouse’s
EARLY BETTING: Bookies reporting long-priced move for Laser Hawk. Triple figure odds offered but into $8 now he runs at expense of injured stablemate Rock Sturdy. He’s Your Man is $6 in from $51 after Hong Kong-based jockey Joao Moreira’s booking.