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Epsom undercard preview

Of course there's more than just the big races at Epsom today and @keejayOV has stepped in with some more previews...

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Princess Elizabeth Stakes, 1400
Not an attractive renewal and weaker than the race Odeliz finished second in last year to Thistle Bird. Karl Burke’s filly finds winning difficult so is not one to go hard on, but dined close to the top table last year and has plenty of efforts that entitle her to take the beating here, as her rating suggests, so she gets the vote.

A return to Lighting Thunder’s best form would see her as a very strong favourite but since her two back to back Guineas seconds she hasn’t raised a gallop since and even odds of 6/1 aren’t tempting enough to get involved again. Bold Lass has kept plenty in hand when winning handicaps at Ascot and Bath the last twice but she should have plenty to offer still with just eight starts under her belt and she is respected here for all this is a different bag of fish. Only a short head separated Don’t Be and Crowley’s Law but the way Don’t Be caught her in the final furlong (with Miss Buckshot only sixth) suggests that she is the better of the two and she may continue her rarkable progression from 63 (November handicap winner on AW) to 100. Her form when second in the AW Championship Race for Fillies and Mares at Lingfield ties her closely in with Lamar, who was outclassed in the Dahlia at Newmarket and then found herself up against a very progressive horse at Goodwood over a trip that may just stretch her (she went from the front.). James Tate’s Filly may be the value of the race with Amulet’s best form on far more testing conditions, Arabian Queen making her seasonal reappearance and Victoria Regina not transferring her UAE form to the UK when third in a Kempton Listed contest.

Selection: Odeliz

Investec Diomed Stakes, 1510
A Group 3 but a Group 2 in all but name here and a fine renewal. Arod’s third in the Lockinge looks to be the standout piece of form in the field and last year’s Derby fourth has a fine chance based on that effort. Much of his form is at longer distances but with Custom Cut and Complicit likely to go and set a good gallop he should have a decent pace to run into and his stamina if anything should be a real bonus, so he looks the one to beat, although prices of 2/1 look just short enough.

Shifting Power’s 3 year old form would give him an outstanding chance here but since a disappointing effort at Goodwood he hasn’t really run close to that level. His listed win over complicit at Windsor may be the confidence boost he needed and conditions will surely be fairer to him than they were at Sandown when front running was the golden highway. Custom Cut’s improvement has been curtailed at Group 1 level but there’s no reason he won’t go close again here in calmer waters although the presence of another front runner is not ideal for him and condtions may not be so advantageous off the front.

Tullius’s form from last year gives him a fine chance but he needs more train to fall to make an impression on this season’s evidence.

Selection: Arod

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