Our columnist’s tips for the Epsom Classics

Epsom Oaks Derby

It could pay to take on the favourites in the Epsom Classics.

Emily Upjohn (11/10 to win the Oaks on Friday) and Desert Crown (7/4 to win the Derby on Saturday) are two inexperienced three-year-olds, taking on the best in their class, at one of the most unpredictable courses in the country.

That’s not to say they have no chance – of course they do. Both have been mightily impressive in their short careers so far, and could well go on to be superstars. But how many short-priced favourites have we seen turned over in these two races?

I’m prepared to take them both on, with plenty of value on offer elsewhere.

For the Oaks, I’m sweet on the chances of CONCERT HALL – 9/1 at Betfred – for Aidan O’Brien.

Epsom Oaks Betting Odds

Unlike the favourite, she has lots of experience having run six times as a two-year-old – boasting some decent Group form – and twice already this season.

The first of which was a Listed contest at Navan, over 1m2f, where she made a very pleasing winning reappearance, just getting up to justify favouritism.

After that she was aimed at the Irish 1,000 Guineas, back in trip over a mile. She finished third, behind super-impressive winner Homeless Songs and stablemate Tuesday, who is 8/1 for Friday’s Classic.

A mile was, in my opinion, always going to prove too short for Concert Hall at this level, but the way she stayed on stronger than anything else in the field was very pleasing with the Oaks in mind.

There’s no guarantee by any means, but I get the impression that this 1m4f trip will really suit, and she handled the undulations of Navan well enough in April which at least provides a clue that she might handle Epsom.

Concert Hall has been given a favourable draw – which we know is a huge factor round here – in stall 10, so I’m expecting a big run from the daughter of Dubawi at a fair each-way price.

Onto the Derby just twenty four hours later, and I have really warmed to Charlie Appleby’s NATIONS PRIDE, who was supplemented for the race last week for a cool £75,000.

Epsom Derby Betting Odds

Despite Godolphin’s extremely deep pockets, that in itself is a tip – besides, with a mark of 116 the son of Teofilo is rated inferior to only Desert Crown (117), and although it was only a Listed contest by name his super-impressive win at Newmarket last time is for me right up there with the best pieces of form on offer from his rivals.

The Derby test and trip should be absolutely no bother for this strong-staying 1m2f winner, and his draw in stall five – the second winning-most stall in Derby history – leaves no excuses.

I can only imagine he’s been ripping up trees at home for connections to supplement him for such a cost, and at 7/1 I feel like he is being a little overlooked in the betting.

Good luck whatever you’re on – fingers crossed we can provide you with a winner!

Owen McMahon

Today’s Horse Racing Odds

Author: Lucille White