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Due to Covid, the Epsom Carnival is changed around for 2020 and both the Oaks and Derby will be run on the same program this Saturday, with the seven race meeting proving to be very strong across the afternoon.

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Race 1. (22:50) Woodcote EBF Stakes 1200m

Back Me

4 Twaasol (Bet Now: $2.50) on top in the opener. Owen Burrows trains this colt, who debuted over 1200m at Windsor where he looked raw and new to the caper but once he switched on, gee he let down like a nice horse and was too good, running decent time relative to the meeting. Harder here, but looks above average and confident he can measure up.

Danger

2 Modern News (Bet Now: $3.25) is a Shamardal colt for Charlie Appleby that was an impressive debut winner at Newmarket before going to the Chesham at Royal Ascot where he seemed to struggle on the shifty ground and you’d have to mark him down as disappointing. I was on him, so perhaps a bit of pocket talk. Showers is forecast for the day, so if it comes, could he be a risk? Watch the weather.

Long Shot

5 Calcutta Cup (Bet Now: $9.00) is a definite yard/market watch. Son of Territories on debut for the Andrew Balding stable. Cost 100,000 Guineas as a yearling and is closely related to a couple of useful sprinters. Gets Oisin Murphy to ride for start one and overall, this race isn’t strong, so if there is market support, I’d respect him.

Race 2. (14:25) Surrey Stakes 1400m

Back Me

4 Safe Voyage (Bet Now: $2.00) is the safe option. Son of Fast Company that had a super 2019, including a few Stakes wins and ended it with a third in the Queen Elizabeth at Ascot. Resumed over 1400m at Haydock and was very good in defeat behind Space Blues. Has an outstanding second up record and any rain won’t hurt his chances.

Danger

The best version of 5 Shine So Bright (Bet Now: $6.00) is certainly capable. Andrew Balding trained four year old that resumed in the Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot where he chased a strong speed but couldn’t keep it up and was a beaten horse 400m out. Since he won a Group ll at York, he hasn’t really fired a shot, but this is a winnable race if he’s anywhere near right.

Long Shot

Back up to 1400m I do like for 2 Jack’s Point (Bet Now: $21.00). Ran twice during Royal Ascot, running second in the Buckingham Palace over 1400m before coming back to 1200m in the Wokingham and was far from disgraced in defeat. Gets gate one, so run of the race stuff for him, back up in trip…just wants a dry deck.

Race 3. (00:00) Investec Handicap 2000m

Back Me

3 Desert Icon (Bet Now: $4.20) looks the one on the up for William Haggas. Ran over 2000m at Newmarket where he took on four rivals and admittedly he didn’t beat much, he gave them a proper spanking, winning by nearly nine lengths. Building up a really good record and like that he’s on the quick back up. He’ll take a power of beating.

Danger

4 Caradoc (Bet Now: $6.00) is a talented son of Camelot for Ed Walker that resumes. Hasn’t raced since November 16 when a solid fourth at Lingfield on the All Weather track behind Crossed Baton, where he started a $2.50 fvaourite. He’s always been a horse hard in the market throughout his career, so interesting to see how he goes fresh.

Long Shot

1 Certain Lad (Bet Now: $15.00) has his share of talent and can measure up here for sure. Had a three run prep at Meydan, with the latest seeing him run fourth in the Dubai Millennium behind a high class animal, Ghaiyyath. He’s a very good first up performer and has the runs on the board, so a bit surprised he’s well into double figures

Race 4. (00:40) Investec Oaks 2400m

Back Me

3 Frankly Darling (Bet Now: $2.75) is the one for me. Frankel filly for John Gosden who gave them a spanking first up at Newmarket before going to the Ribblesdale at Royal Ascot and she showed some real class in putting them away. Has the recent 2400m run under the belt and IMO, I think the 1000 Guineas form isn’t overly strong, certainly not as strong as what the market thinks, and the subsequent form backs up my thinking.

Danger

5 Love (Bet Now: $2.20) did win the 1000 Guineas and while I do think, overall, it isn’t a strong form race, she was a dominant winner and looked high class in putting them away. Stable has a great record in the race and she is looking as if 2400m will be fine. The knocks are the strength of the 1000 Guineas and IMO she’s too short in betting.

Long Shot

I’m wary of 4 Gold Wand (Bet Now: $21.00) for Roger Varian. Debuted with a narrow second at Doncaster back in October before being spelled and resumed over 2000m at Newbury where she was arrogant in putting them away and confirming herself as an Oaks contender. 2400m will be no issue for her and is the knockout chance IMO.

Race 5. (01:15) Princess Elizabeth Stakes 1700m

Back Me

I think 3 Love And Thunder (Bet Now: $7.00) is really good value here for John Gosden. Debuted at Deauville last year for Andre Fabre when a narrow second before being sent to Gosden. Resumed over the mile at Newbury with Frankie steering and was quite comfortable in winning. Has more to come and for mine is clearly the value.

Danger

2 Fooraat (Bet Now: $2.00) is a very promising filly for Roger Varian. 2/2 to start her career and the close relation to the high class animal Benbatl has been sharp each time she has stepped out, but in saying that, both wins have come on All Weather tracks. If she can translate it to the turf, she likely wins, but at the short odds, I’m happy to just watch.

Long Shot

6 Summer Romance (Bet Now: $11.00) can improve here for Charlie Appleby. Was a pretty solid 2YO last season and looked above average. Resumed in the 1000 Guineas and was just fair without being great behind Love. Is bred to handle the trip, so I think forgive that 1000 Guineas effort and she should welcome the drop in overall depth.

Race 6. (01:55) Investec Derby 2400m

Back Me

It’s hard to get away from 3 English King (Bet Now: $4.50) for Ed Walker, with Frankie to take the ride. He was outstanding in winning the Derby Trial at Lingfield, really showing class and authority in putting them away and stamping himself as the #1 seed for this race. Think he only has to hold that form here and I think he wins again.

Danger

The Aussie punters will be cheering for 13 Russian Emperor (Bet Now: $6.00) given he’s a son of the former top class mare Atlantic Jewel. I loved the way he attacked the line to win the Hampton Court at Royal Ascot in a race where the race shape probably wasn’t A1 for him but he was far too good. 2400m is no issue…interesting that Ryan Moore sticks with Mogul.

Long Shot

10 Mohican Heights (Bet Now: $17.00) looks the value. Unbeaten going into the King Edward at Royal Ascot and I thought it was a very negative ride in a slowly run race. Had no chance of winning given the way the race was run so forget he went around. Connections paid big coin for this guy with eyes towards this race and $20+ seems overs.

Race 7. (02:35) Zebra Handicap 1400m

Back Me

8 Reputation (Bet Now: $11.00) on top for me in the get out. Ian Williams trains this gelding and it does seem to be the best time to back him is early on in the prep, which was seen last campaign when he gave them a start and a beating first up last prep over 1200m at Ripon. Yet to prove himself at 1400m but flies fresh and does no work from the gate.

Danger

13 Tintoretto (Bet Now: $7.00) has done a great job since joining the Tom Ward stable. Last two starts have resulted in wins over 1400m at Kempton Park on the All Weather track, each run seeing Aussie Tom Marquand steering. Loses nothing with Oisin Murphy taking the ride and did win on turf in Ireland, so All Weather to turf here should be fine.

Long Shot

3 Magical Wish (Bet Now: $13.00) can be an improver at odds. Richard Hannon trains this four year old, who resumed at Royal Ascot where the stable found Ryan Moore to steer, which on paper was a positive lead, but the gelding didn’t really fire a shot in a disappointing resumption. He’s clearly better than that, so giving him another chance.

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