Plenty to look forward to at Epsom Downs with Derby Day having arrived! Grab all of our best bets and tips for the big day here.
EPSOM DERBY FESTIVAL – DAY 2
Race 2 – Betfred Derby (Group 1) ARREST 33/10
ARREST can get the hearts of his supporters racing as he bids to give Frankie Dettori the perfect Epsom swansong by triumphing in the Betfred Derby. Twice a winner of the premier Classic twice aboard Authorized (2007) and Golden Horn (2015), the 52-year-old’s career is tailor-made for Hollywood scriptwriters and he can have his blockbuster ending on the Surrey Downs.
The most recent of Dettori’s two Derby triumphs came for trainer John Gosden, who along with son Thady, is responsible for preparing ARREST for his date with destiny on Saturday. And the signs are promising judged on what the son of Frankel has shown so far. Always held in the highest of regard by the team at Clarehaven, the colt built on a third-placed debut to score twice at a mile before tackling a Group One assignment in his final start of the season, when beaten a short-head by the reopposing DUBAI MILE over 10 furlongs in the Criterium de Saint-Cloud.
That performance highlighted his Classic potential and he looked much more the finished article on his seasonal reappearance at Chester when blitzing the field in the Chester Vase. Dettori kicked for home early on the Roodee and with stamina assured, plus a pleasing track reconnaissance complete during a recent gallops morning, Derby number three could be about to head the way of racing’s retiring hero.
Race 3 – Princess Elizabeth Stakes (Group 3) – ROMAN MIST 13/2
ROMAN MIST can go two places better than last year’s third to take home the Princess Elizabeth Stakes trophy in the race that follows the Derby. She was beaten just shy of two lengths in this event 12 months ago having attempted to make all, but she produced what could be classed as a career best when winning the Conqueror Fillies’ Stakes at Goodwood on her first outing for Archie Watson to give hope front-running tactics could pay off on this occasion.
Race 4 – Aston Martin 3yo Dash Handicap – TATTERSTALL 17/2
TATTERSTALL had subsequent winner Estate two lengths back in second when shedding his maiden tag at Wolverhampton and he has plenty of pace to take advantage of his high draw. Jm Jungle had the selection back in seventh when runner-up at York and is dangerous, but that came just a week after Tatterstall’s breakthrough triumph and much better is expected now. Surprise Newcastle winner Can To Can is also of interest, while Russet Gold will also have his supporters on his return.
Race 5 – Aston Martin Dash Handicap – VINTAGE CLARETS 17/2
SILKY WILKIE is highly respected, given he wasn’t beaten far in the Group 3 Palace House Stakes at Newmarket last month, but he would need to set a modern-day weight-carrying record to emerge on top on these terms.
Therefore, it might pay to side with VINTAGE CLARETS, who is versatile regarding ground preference and looks the type to rise to the demands of this unique test. Clarendon House also has to be considered granted his scope for improvement, while Zarzyni and last year’s runner-up Mountain Peak also have plenty to offer.
Race 6 – Betfred Lester Piggott Handicap – TORITO 4/1
There could be further success for the Gosdens on the Surrey Downs with TORITO, who makes his handicap bow in the Betfred Lester Piggott Handicap. The Kingman three-year-old held a Derby entry for most of the spring and that race must have come into calculations when shedding his maiden tag with a promising run at Nottingham in April.
He went on to push Derby contender Artistic Star close in a hot Sandown novice event recently and now steps into the handicap ranks off a mark of 95, with the potential to rate a good bit higher.
Race 7 – Northern Dancer Handicap – CAIUS CHORISTER 5/2
Track specialist CAIUS CHORISTER makes plenty of appeal in the Rio Ferdinand Foundation Northern Dancer Handicap, especially with Ryan Moore’s name appearing against David Menuisier’s filly. She progressed at a rate of knots last season, winning five times on the bounce before that run came to an end in the Melrose at York.
Her run following that in Longchamp Listed head was better than the bare result may suggest and the four-year-old showed she could still be on an upwards curve when just touched off over course and distance on her return to action on soft ground in April. Slow ground would not have been to CAIUS CHORISTER liking then, but with conditions set to be much more in her favour this time, she is backed to continue her Epsom love affair.
Race 8 – Jra Tokyo Trophy Handicap – VENTUROUS 20/1
Probe arrives in fine form after scoring in a big-field handicap at Newmarket’s Guineas meeting, but he does have to cope with a 7lb hike in the ratings and a chance is taken on VENTUROUS. David and Nicola Barron’s veteran was a good second at Ayr and a repeat of that effort off the same mark could see him go close. Haymaker won well at Windsor and should be seriously considered, along with last year’s victor Mr Wagyu.