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Epsom Downs

Marlay Park

The tendency to pull very hard and a couple of bumps in the final furlongs may have been the difference between victory and defeat when beaten a neck over today’s course and distance in July. The gelding is only a pound higher in the weights in this event, and has put up a couple of good efforts, including going close on the Downs once again last time out. That was over 6f, and saw Pat Cosgrave’s mount close the gap on the winner late on, suggesting that a return to this 7f trip will be right up his street.


As a 10yo, there’s unlikely to be much more improvement from Jim Best’s charge, but on his past form he might not need to. Tom Cannon takes the ride on the veteran in the Jump Jockeys Derby and might be on the right one, with plenty of course form to his name. Three wins and two places in his seven outings at Epsom over 1m2f or further is impressive, and with the latest of those wins coming just two starts back, he clearly still retains talent in his later career. Add in that he’s won from a mark 12lbs higher than the figure he carries here, and a double figure price looks very tempting.


A trio of placed efforts over a mile at the start of the season resulted in a step-up in trip for Marcus Tregoning’s gelding. Travelling better than anything in the race at Salisbury, the 4yo had a nightmare journey, having to wait an age for a gap to open. While his opponents rowed away, Oisin Murphy was motionless waiting for an opportunity to make his challenge. By the time that came it was too late, and Dartington could only manage third. He did however, make amends next time at Brighton, claiming the scalp of the in-form Contingency Form, who had won five of his last six. He’s up another 5lb here, but is still unexposed at the trip and has a favourites chance of doubling up.


Plenty of these are linked on recent form, and Curtiz had two of his opponents in behind when bolting up over course and distance last week. While he’s got a 5lb penalty to overcome here, Prince Rock, who was 5l back in second is effectively 5lb worse off too, with claimer Rhys Clutterbuck now no longer in the saddle. Curtiz has won three of his four races over 9f or shorter since being gelded at the start of last year and looks to be firmly on the up. Tom Marquand is the next jockey to get the leg up on Hughie Morrison’s charge, and could be the third different rider to guide him to success this term.

About Epsom Downs Racecourse

Home of the Derby, up to 130,000 people are able to watch racing from Epsom live, with the Downs on the infield open to the public. For over 200 years it’s been the premier race of a horse’s three-year-old season, with many of the greats of flat racing winning the contest. The track is also home to what is reported as the fastest five furlongs around, with the Epsom Dash showcasing a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it sprint over the Derby weekend.

A first visit to Epsom can be the acid test for many horses with the tracks well-defined camber and downhill run to the home turn capable of uncovering a vulnerability in a horse.

Epsom DownsSurreyUnited Kingdom
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