Epsom Selection

Good morning all,

The five-day declarations for Saturday’s racing are out. July Cup winner Starman is hot favourite for Haydock’s Group 1 Betfair Sprint Cup and, if the weather forecasters are right, it looks like he will get his favoured sound surface. He seems likely to be reopposed by Dragon Symbol, Winter Power, Creative Force, Glen Shiel and Brando who finished behind him in the July Cup. He’s going to be very tough to beat if he reproduces his Newmarket running on Saturday.

More on the Betfair Sprint Cup in Wednesday’s column.

Inside today’s main piece you’ll find my latest eyecatchers. Plus, a selection from today’s meeting at Epsom.

Eyecatchers

Compared to the previous week. It was quiet on the eyecatchers front. Not unsurprisingly given the week and in particular Saturday wasn’t the highest profile of the summer.  Still, I have three for the tracker this week.

Kinderfrau – Brett Johnson

Recently bought out of the John & Thady Gosden yard. The filly didn’t really build on the promise of her racecourse debut at Kempton last December on two starts earlier this year for the Gosden’s. She shaped with plenty of promise on her stable/handicap debut when a 1 ¾ length 3rd of 14 at Kempton on Wednesday evening.

The filly stays 1m 4f and seems to be very effective on the polytrack, has yet to race on the grass. I’m sure she can win a handicap in the coming weeks if building on this encouraging effort.

Thaleeq – Dermot Weld

The 4-year-old maybe an 11-race maiden but he posted a clear career best on RPR’s when a short head 2nd of 24 in the apprentice handicap that closed Friday’s Curragh’s evening card. He was doing his best work at the finish of the 7f contest and given he seemed to stay 1m 1f last season should appreciate a return to a bit further.

He will be nudged up a few lbs for this run. However, he should remain on a competitive mark when he gets a strongly run race.

Al Rufaa – John & Thady Gosden

The 4-year-old really benefited for the application of the hood last season. Winning three times at Kempton and Newmarket twice on good/good to firm ground. All three successes coming over 7f. A low-key end of the season for him though. As he struggled on heavy ground at Haydock and was well beaten in the Cambridgeshire.

Off for 11 months and having his first start after gelding operation. He returned in the 7f handicap won by Aratus at Goodwood on Saturday. There is plenty of encouragement to be taken from his 3 ¾ length 7th of 9. The small field led to a muddling early gallop which didn’t suit him and nor did the track. He finished his race off nicely enough under a hands and heels ride from Frankie Dettori and will be sharper for this. A return to more galloping track can see him in a better light.

Tuesday racing

Ripon and Epsom complete two-day meetings this afternoon. The day’s action is rounded off by jumping cards at Newton Abbot and Hexham this evening.

Epsom

4:35 – Dolphin Vista is on a losing run that goes back two years and has been given a chance by the handicapper. The 8-year-old finished a ½ length 3rd of 9 over C&D last time and with a clearer run night well have won. Can race off the same mark here and 5/1 looks fair odds about his chance.

Dolphin Vista – 5/1 @ Coral & Ladbrokes

In tomorrow's column I will be looking at some of the weekend's big races and on Thursday I will be looking at this season's juvenile fillies.

Good luck with your Tuesday bets.

John

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