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Thursday 2 June 2011

The Epsom Dash !

Dont blink as your likely to miss this if you do. Once again all the speedsters line up for this popular annual Derby Day race over the Epsom 5f course. Seventeen runners are here and low drawn horses have had a poor record down the years and although you can never safely write off anything, those drawn 1-7 may have a problem to overcome, with the following record for winners over the last 7 years when there have been similar sized fields :
2010 - drawn 15 0f 19
2009 - drawn 18 of 18
2008 - drawn   8 of 19
2007 - drawn 15 of 18
2006 - drawn 17 of 20
2005 - drawn 10 of 20
2004 - drawn   8 of 20
Pace will also be a key factor as the winner will almost certainly comefrom off the back of that and with the likes of Fallasteen 12, Strike up the Band 11, Captain Dunne 9 and Masamah 8 the winner could well be drawn away from the rail, although Fathom Five may end up having an uncontested run along the rail in stall 17 unless Fallasteen moves over as he did last time here. This is his second run for sprint king Nicholls who has no less than six entered although Crimea drawn in 14 is doubtful. His record here reads 61175 with his 2 wins coming off handicap marks of 93 (time 55.64 on Good) and 91(time 55.31 on Good to Firm), he is on 91 for this and Adrian Nicholls rides. He finished 6th when he had the best of the draw in 2008 off 97 and 7th last year when he again had a very good draw off 94 so it's hard to see him improving on what he has done previously given that he isnt getting any younger and you have to rely on the change of stable giving him the required improvement to win.
Last years winner Bertoliver has a low draw in stall 4 draw which is going to be difficult to overcome for him and for the others drawn low around him.
Topweight Captain Dunne (9.10) may well be bringing the best recent form into the race with his 2nd at Chester behind Doctor Parkes and his 2nd Group 3 in France at Longchamp behind Nicholls Inxile where he was caught on the line after leading throughout in a time of 55.92. Just behind him there was Prohibit who then finished only 1 1/2 lengths behind Sole Power at Haydock in the Group 2 Temple Stakes. He looks like being one of the main pacesetters here but he is10lb higher than when coming 2nd in 2009 when he broke well.
On the subject of weight 6 of the last 10 winners caried 8-08 or less with the best weight carring performance being Fire Up The Band in 2005 who carried 9.09 to victory.
Fallasteen is 2-2 at the course and the last time he won here was when he was drawn 5 of 14 and on that occasion he did exceptionally well to get over to the rail to lead virtually throughout, so you can imagine he will be making the same move again from his better draw this time. He has the assistance of William Buick with Spencer riding for Kevin Ryan as he often does but that could well be an advantage.
Beat the Bell was only 1 3/4 lengths behind Fallasteen on his first run here, he is now 5lb better off but is drawn better in stall 7, had 1 last time, although in contrast Fallasteen doesnt have as far to get to the rail.
It could be a difficult ask for Perfect Blossom to win on her first run of the season but this has apparently been the plan for sometime, however draw 6 and a not so experienced jockey put me off.
Masamah will be bang up there but he is another that is a virgin at the track although he has the form to win if liking the experience.
At this stage I would be looking at in no particular order Fallasteen, Captain Dunne and Masamah to fight it out, but I will have another post tomorrow evening to try and bring it all together.