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Epsom Dash preview

The mad downhill sprint they call the Epsom Dash is one of Saturday's 'other' features at Epsom, Jack Milner returns to the blog with his analysis. --------

The Epsom Dash

The Epsom Dash is another highlight of the Investec Derby Festival, with some of the best sprinters around going hell for leather down the straight five furlongs. Good, firm ground is ensured, so we could see a new track record broke, with some of the runners in the race already clocking some very quick times this season.

The race was won last year by Captain Dunne for Ted Easterby, The seven year old usually needs the run, and came on well for that on ground that wouldn’t have suited at Newbury. The third and sixth have come out and won since, and being dropped 2lb brings him to the mark he won the race on last year. He looks the pick of his string, ahead of Confessional who is officially 6lb well in official ratings, after a strong run behind Bated Breath at Haydock last time. The two look the pick of the northern plots, with horses also being sent down from Kevin Ryan in the form of York Glory and Courageous, but York Glory looked seriously rusty last time, and Courageous is running out of the handicap. He has Dickies Lad too, and interesting that Tom Queally is booked to ride. Unless he is burning up the gallops at home however, I can’t see him being a serious player. The north doesn’t look to have any stronger chances elsewhere with Long Awaited for David Barron winning last time out but the four year old looks inexperienced, and his best form is on softer ground. Vocational for Mark Johnston is 10lb out of the handicap, and although Silvestre De Sousa rides Epsom well, he has too much on his plate. Richard Fahey has Jamesway and Arctic Feeling, but neither looks appealing on current handicap ratings. Similarly the David Nicholls trained Fitz Flyer, who is 3lb lower on official ratings, as is the Hughie Morrison trained Sohraab, and looked lacklustre on his reappearance, similarly Living it Large for Ed De Giles.

We can scratch a few more off the shortlist by immediately taking out Diamond Charlie, and Stone of Folca look to be seriously outclassed in a race of this level, and can’t see them even placing in any particular scenario, Similarly with the Irish raider Oor Jock and he has Colm O’ Donoghue booked to steer. He is officially due to go up 2lb for a solid effort on his return at Dundalk, and has been running well in better company, but could be handicapped to the hilt. Taajub looks something of a dark horse, and should the money come, be interesting. Campaigned over the winter, he looked to suit the change to turf when running a good second over course and distance last time out.

The remaining players all look to have strong claims, but are plenty short enough in the market. Bear Behind, Catfish, Judge N’ Jury and Desert Law are all within the top ten in the market, and there are plenty reasons why. Bear Behind for Tom Dascombe. Beating Hamish McGonagall before losing in the stewards’ room, and then a narrow defeat to Ballesteros. That form has been franked and then some and he looks to have the progressive type of profile in a race like this. The Brian Meehan stable are flying at the moment, so Catfish has to be respected, similarly with Desert Law for Andrew Balding. Both should have come on for their initial runs, and have good form in the past on better ground. Judge N’ Jury looks progressive for Ron Harris, but seems to run better on flatter, less testing tracks.

Bear Behind 2pts EW @ 8/1 BOG
Captain Dunne 1pt EW @ 10/1 BOG

The Yorkshireman – Jack Milner, @jjmsports

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