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Value at Epsom

Preview for the Derby and OaksWe’re less than a month away from the second round of Classics in the British season as both the Investec Oaks and Derby will be coming from Epsom Downs on the 3rd and 4th June.

In this article, I’m going to look at a horse in each race which I think could be a big price for two of the biggest races of the season.

Starting with the Oaks and of course if Minding does turn up here she is going to take some beating for Aidan O’Brien after he 1,000 Guineas success. I’ve already expressed my love for this horse in the Guineas review, but she is not a price to be going mad over in the ante-post market.

Amazingly, O’Brien has the first five in the betting here with Minding, Ballydoyle, Even Song, Alice Springs and Coolmore.

We’re unlikely to see all of those in the Oaks though and it is pretty big prices about the rest.

You can get 25/1 about Turret Rocks for Jim Bolger and this might just be the target for the filly.

She ran an excellent race in the 1,000 Guineas to finish in sixth I thought and to me she looked like a horse crying out for a step up in trip.

Jim Bolger’s string haven’t been in the best of form either, so it was a positive to see her run with promise and you’d think the yard will really be hitting form soon.

She was a Group 2 winner on Good ground at Doncaster last September and looked like a stayer on that day.

The run in the Guineas has shown that she has trained on and at 25/1, Turret Rocks could be a massive price in the Oaks. If she runs on the day, I wouldn’t expect to see her at this price as some of the O’Brien string are sure to have other targets and who knows, Minding may even go for the Derby.

You don’t get non-runner no bet at this stage unfortunately, but at these prices you don’t need to stake big at all to get some good returns so at minimal stakes, I have had a few quid on Turret Rocks for the Oaks. Her pedigree suggests this trip will be no problems and the way she shaped last time out had me thinking this was a potential Oaks filly.

Moving onto the Derby and this looks a trickier puzzle to solve at the moment.

Again though, it is well worth siding with horses at bigger prices at the moment if you’re looking for an ante-post bet.

O’Brien again dominates the market with the likes of US Army Ranger, Minding and The Gurka all towards the top of the market.

You can get 20/1 about Massaat at the moment though and this looks to be the best bet right now.

You had to like the way this horse ran in the Guineas to finish second to Galileo Gold and it was another one of those performances that had you thinking this horse will be even better when stepped up in trip.

Trainer Owen Burrows has confirmed this will be the target for this three-year-old and it would be a surprise to see him at around 20/1 come the day of racing.

He has only had four runs and has finished second in two very good races at Newmarket.

There is no doubt there is much more to come from this colt and jockey Paul Hanagan thinks the world of him.

His sire has produced Classic winning horses before, including last year’s Irish 1,000 Guineas winner Pleascach for Jim Bolger. She was a gritty stayer last season and won over this mile and a half trip at York, which was a very impressive performance from the filly.

The sire also was responsible for Bolger’s Trading Leather, who won the Irish Derby back in 2013, so there are a number of positives in the horse’s pedigree for this trip.

Of course, there are still a number of trials to runs before the Oaks and the Derby, but these two horses do look to be decent prices in the betting right now and could make a bit of a monster EW double. At really small stakes for singles they’re good bets too and we could be sitting in a good position come the first weekend of June when both are, I think, likely to be shorter.

As always let me know your thoughts on both of these horses. Ante-post betting is mainly a bit of fun I feel and the main aim is to try and find those big price horses which could shorten. Plenty can happen in racing and without non-runner no bet you should never be betting to big stakes.

I do think we could see two very special Classics at Epsom this season.


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