The Flat Racing season got off to a bang with the first two classics of the year, the 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas, producing not only an exciting race, but some joy for punters who were fortunate enough to pick the winners.
Jim Bolger’s Poetic Flare was a popular winner of the 2,000 Guineas on the first day of May this year, with 54-year-old jockey Kevin Manning in the saddle.
A day later, it was Frankie Dettori’s legion of fans that were celebrating when he rode his 20th British Classic winner in his career, steering Mother Earth home in the 1,000 Guineas ahead of Saffron Beach and Fev Rover.
That was trainer Aiden O’Brien’s third win in succession in the 1,000 Guineas (following wins for Hermosa in 2019 and Love in 2020) and his fifth in the last six years. He is the first trainer to win three 1,000 Guineas in a row since George Lambton in 1918.
This weekend, we see the next two races in the British Classic Series contested. First up on Friday, we have the Epsom Oaks for three-year-old fillies and this is followed on Saturday by the Epsom Derby, which is open to all three-year-olds.
Both races are contested over the slightly longer 1 mile, 4 furlongs and 10 yards.
Of course, interest in these races is going to be very high and if you are interested in having a bet on the outcome then bet365 Sport offers extensive coverage of both days of the Epsom Downs meeting this week.
There are a number of great offers available with bet365 for the meeting, especially seeing as the races are being shown live on ITV, this includes the ITV Racing 4/1 Offer which sees you land a risk free bet of up to £50 on the next live ITV race if you back a winner at odds of 4/1 or greater.
Offer applies to first single bet placed. Applies to Win and Each Way Fixed Odds markets and Enhanced Place Terms markets only. Bet restrictions and T&Cs apply. New and eligible customers only.
Let’s now preview both days of the meeting, taking a look at the key races in each day of action.
Epsom Downs Race Schedule
Friday 4th June
- 2.00pm – Cazoo Woodcote EBF Stakes
- 2.35pm – Coral ‘beaten By A Length” Free Bet Handicap
- 3.10pm – Coral Coronation Cup
- 3.45pm – Cazoo Handicap
- 4.30pm – Cazoo Oaks
- 5.10pm – Play Coral “Racing Super-Series” For Free Surrey Stakes
- 5.40pm – Cazoo Derby Festival Handicap
Saturday 5th June
- 2.00pm – World Pool At The tote Handicap
- 2.35pm – Princess Elizabeth Stakes
- 3.10pm – Cazoo Diomed Stakes
- 3.45pm – World Pool ‘Dash’ Handicap
- 4.30pm – Cazoo Derby
- 5.15pm – Northern Dancer Handicap
- 5.50pm – Cazoo Handicap
Top Races And Tips For Each Day Of The Epsom Downs
Thursday 4th June
3.10 – Coral Coronation Cup
There are some familiar names competing in one of the biggest races of the meeting, including last year’s 1,000 Guineas winner Love, as well as the hugely exciting Al Aasy, who will start the race as the odds on favourite after winning four of its last five outings, including both races this season.
Japan and Mogul are also well backed in the antepost betting slightly ahead of the likes of Pyledriver and Armory. In Swoop, Albaflora and Broome also have decent backing in the markets in what looks like being an excellent race.
The general feeling is that Al Aasy is a class apart here though and as such, that is the horse I’d back to win the Coronation Cup.
3.45 – Cazoo Handicap
Last year’s winner Sky Defender is back to try and land back to back wins in this competitive race but the Mark Johnston trained horse hasn’t won in it’s last six outings and faces some stern opposition here.
Bright Melody, Victory Chime, Montather and Dream With Me look likely to be the closest contenders in what should be a close run contest.
It’s a very tough one to call this but I do think that Dream With Me has a really good chance of landing an outside win here.
4.30 – Cazoo Oaks
After narrowly missing out in the 1000 Guineas, Saffron Beach will contest The Oaks on Friday hoping to go one better for trainer Jan Chapple-Hyam. However, the extra distance means that there are a number of other horses that look better placed to land the victory here.
The favourite is Aiden O’Brien’s Santa Barbara, but the likes of Snowfall, Zeyaadah, Teona, Divinely, Dubai Fountain and Mystery Angel also feature in the betting.
This should be a fantastic third classic of the season and while it should be close, I am backing Zeyaadah to get back to winning ways here.
Friday 5th June
3.10 – Cazoo Diomed Stakes
There should be a very strong field competing in the Diomed Stakes and it does look like being a very tight race with almost all of the 11 entries looking as if they have a chance. Century Dream is the slight favourite in the ante-post betting after winning the race last year, but the likes of Maximal, Prince Eiji, Bell Rock, Duke of Hazzard and Marie’s Diamond are all pretty much equally well backed.
Lottie Marie is another interesting one, although the step up in class will likely put this winner of its last two races up against it here. The same can be said of Richard Hannon’s Fast Steps.
This should be one of the most competitive races of the entire meeting and my tip is to take Bell Rock to land the win.
3.45 – World Pool ‘Dash’ Handicap
With a big field of 27 entries ahead of the race, this handicap for 3-year-olds is another sprint that looks very open. Stone of Destiny, trained by Anthony Balding, is many people’s early price favourite for the race, but there is almost equal support for the likes of Copper Knight, Only Spoofing, Rewaayat and Desert Safari.
Given how open this race is, an each way bet looks to be the best option for punters wanting a bet on the race and with that in mind I think Caspian Prince, which arguably has the most consistent long-term form of any of the runners, is the pick for this race.
4.30 – Cazoo Derby
We now get to the biggest race of the meeting and the pinnacle of the flat racing season in the UK, the Epsom Derby is renowned around the world and some of the past winners have been legends of the sport.
Camelot, Galileo, Nashwan, Shergar, Troy, The Minstrel, Mill Reef, Nijinsky and Sea Bird being just a handful of the famous race winners of the past.
Adrian O’Brien’s Bolshoi Ballet is the hot favourite with ante-post punters this year and it does look likely that the odds on the in-form O’Brien’s entry will only shorten in the run up to the race.
Likely to contend alongside the favourite are the likes of High Definition, Mac Swiney, Mohaafeth, John Leeper, Hurricane Lane and Third Realm. Of those, Hurricane Lane, Mohaafeth and John Leeper look most likely to be the closest challengers to me.
However, you can’t ignore the form O’Brien’s stable is in and the quality of Bolshoi Ballet and that is my tip for this race.