Epsom Downs

Two Group 1 contests to look forward to this afternoon at Epsom Downs with the Coronation Cup for older horses and the third classic of the season – the Investec Oaks – the highlights of a wonderful seven-race card.

The Hannon yard have won the opening Woodcote Stakes three times in the last six years and Oh Purple Rain – 5/1 – puts his unbeaten record on the line having scored at 12/1 on debut at Nottingham. The stable’s juveniles often come on for their debut, but the vote goes to Pinatubo (2.00) who was a fluent winner at Wolverhampton on debut for Charlie Appleby and that form has been franked by the subsequent wins of the second and third. The selection is 6/4 and can get favourite backers off to a winning start.

History Writer (2.35) has only won one of his 11 career starts but he looked ready to strike when a close third at Sandown last time for David Menuisier. The 4-y-old is an each way recommendation at 7/1 – who are paying 4 places on the 15-runner event – and I would be disappointed if he didn’t run a big race.

In the Coronation Cup Kew Gardens (3.10) has the beating of both Lah Ti Dar (4/1) and Old Persian (10/3) on last year’s St Leger although he was beaten by the latter in the Gt Voltigeur Stakes over today’s 12f trip at York back in August. Cypress Creek will ensure there is an end-to-end gallop for BetVictor’s 2/1 market leader and he gets a narrow vote in what looks a good renewal of this prestigious prize.

I think it is fair to say that Her Majesty’s Elector could have been raised by more than the 2lbs he was given by the handicapper – well the Birthday Honours are imminent – for scoring at Newmarket over 9f earlier in the month. At 3/1 he is a worthy favourite, but I am sweet on the each way chances of Setting Sail (3.45) who is 5/1 and is an each way recommendation.

The selection has only had four career starts and failed to get home, having been too keen, at Ascot last time over an additional quarter-mile. This drop back in trip should suit and the only negative I can find is this will be the fastest ground this son of Dansili has encountered. Mountain Angel did us a favour here back in April, but I feel this is a better race and he is 4lbs higher this afternoon.

The filly Angel’s Hideaway (5.15) has run two excellent races in defeat so far this term and was upside winner Hermosa with a furlong to go in the 1000 Guineas only to fade close home. John Gosden’s filly was slowly away on her reappearance and does have her quirks, but she is talented and can fend off the challenge of the Godolphin colt Space Blues.


Pinatubo (2.00) 

History Writer (2.35) 

Kew Gardens (3.10) 

Setting Sail (3.45) 

Angel’s Hideaway (5.15) 

Tips from Epsom Downs, Carlisle & Stratford


Away from Epsom Downs and across to Carlisle the hope is that the drying ground will suit True Destiny (3.25) who carries a 5lbs penalty for a facile win at Nottingham last time. Roger Charlton’s stayer has now won two of his last three starts and his regular pilot Adam McNamara is in the plate. Grey Mist is the obvious danger as he chases a six-timer for Karen McLintock, but this looks a step up in class.


True Destiny (3.25) 


This evening’s Stratford card is one of the highlights of the Hunter Chase season. The meeting was spoiled by an over-exuberant watering can last season with the ground much slower than the official going description.

In the 61st running of the Horse & Hound Cup I hope to see Top Wood (7.50) back up his brave Aintree Foxhunters’ success when he battled back on the run-in. Caid Du Berlais has won the last two Champion Hunter Chases at Punchestown, but he must show he gets this near three-and-a-half-mile trip and he finished behind the selection at Cheltenham at the Festival in March.


Optimised (6.50) 

Top Wood (7.50) 

Odds are correct at the time of posting

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