Friday 3rd June 2022
Author: Jordan Yates (EvRacing_)
The first race I’ll be taking a look at on Oaks Day at Epsom is the 2:00 which is the Woodcote Stakes over six furlongs. The one I’ve sided with here is Blatant who’s currently a 6/1 chance in the betting for the team of Eve Johnson Houghton and Charlie Bishop. I actually tipped him up on his debut at Doncaster back in March where he finished midfield, however, since then he’s progressed steadily with each effort and got his head in-front on his most recent outing, where he won at Leicester by over three-lengths. Connections had great success with Chipotle last term, and I think this colt could well prove to be another progressive sort.
It’s the 2:35 that I’ll be taking a look at next which is a Class 2 Handicap that’s contested over a mile and a half. I’m going with the in-form horse here in Excel Power at 6/1 for Archie Waston and Hollie Doyle. He arrives here having won his last three outings, the most recent success coming at Windsor at the beginning of May where he beat Fox Power by three-lengths. He’s been handed a six-pound rise in the weights for that success, which I don’t think is overly harsh and he’s got every chance of going close again in this assignment.
I’m moving onto the 3:45 now which is the Cazoo Handicap over a mile and two furlongs. This is another Class 2 event and in this one I’m taking a chance on Royal Champion who’s currently a 7/1 chance for the combination of Roger Varian and Andrea Atzeni. This is a rather tentative selection, as he arrives here only having the four-runs to date and his only win coming in said four outings came back in September of 2020, and his most recent outing in March of this year he finished a very distant fourth of four behind Chindit in listed company at Doncaster. However, his debut success at Newmarket was impressive, and all three outings since have been within pattern company. There’s every chance that now trying his hand down the handicapping route this mark could prove to within range for him. I think he could well be a player in this sort of grade.
The big one comes up at 4:30 and which is the Cazoo Oaks, a prestigious Group 1 for fillies’ over a mile and four furlongs. Emily Upjohn is all the rage in this year’s renewal of the race, and heads the betting at slightly odds against for Frankie Dettori and John Gosden. She’ll obviously be tough to beat, however, I’m taking her on and I’ve done that with Tuesday at 9/1 for Aiden O’Brien and Ryan Moore. The Coolmore team are no strangers to success in this race and I think this filly by Galileo has a great chance to add more honours to their illustrious collection. She placed in both English & Irish Guineas, but I think she’ll start to show her true potential now she’s tackling this extra-distance. In both of her last two efforts in said Guineas, she’s stayed on all the way to the line and she should relish this test and I think should be considered as a major player.