Epsom | Oaks Day 2017

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DE BRUYNE HORSE was mightily impressive last time out when beating Way of Wisdom by seven lengths at Ripon, that was a reversal of his Newmarket debut when he was fifth, beaten eight and a half lengths. He obviously came on for the run, he wasn’t slow away and he was therefore able to grab the lead and make all. This is a step up in class but he looks like he has plenty of improvement left in him. The Hannon stable has won this race three times in the last four years and along with the booking of Ryan Moore that can only add confidence.

BACK DE BRUYNE HORSE at 2.63 (Bet365, Betfred, 888Sport)

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I love Highland Reel, but I have to oppose him today. He was disappointing last time out at Meydan and I have question marks over his ability to show his best form going left handed. He’s only won twice from eight starts going left-handed, one of which was when he was given a very easy lead in the Breeders’ Cup Turf and the other was in the Secretariat Stakes at Arlington back in 2015. He’s never been to Epsom before, however I don’t see that as a concern as he handles Goodwood well. However at the prices I can’t be siding with him when I don’t believe he will get his optimum conditions.

Hawkbill won’t be getting his ground, so that rules him out. I don’t believe that Journey will be seen to best effect first time out, however it is interesting that she’s been kept in training and I’d imagine she’ll go close to winning an open class Group One later in the season. US Army Ranger and Idaho represent last years Derby form, however I don’t believe that’s up to much.

The horse that does interest me is FRONTIERSMAN, he was entered to run at York last weekend however he was pulled out and supplemented at a cost of £25,000 for this race. This is a big step up in class, but the form of his defeat at Doncaster on his seasonal reappearance has worked out well. After that race he went on to win a handicap at Newmarket, when he was well backed. I have no doubts about his ability to see out the trip and although he needs to take another step forward to show he’s up to this level, I do believe that he is overpriced at 10.0.

BACK FRONTIERSMAN at 10.0 (Betfair, Bet Victor,Paddy Power)

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This is all about RHODODENDRON. The money has come for her all week, her form has been franked with Winter coming out and winning the Irish 1000 Guineas. Looking back at her last run in the Newmarket 1000 Guineas  she was massively hindered in running, she didn’t get a clear run two furlongs out, she was then squeezed out of things before having to be switched left one furlong out. Despite almost being stop to a walk, she picked up well and was flying towards the finish, she looks like she’ll stay and she looks like she’s a cut above the rest of this field.

BACK RHODODENDRON at 1.83 (General)

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SEVEN HEAVENS is a frustrating horse, I’ve backed him twice this season and lost twice. However on his last start, where I didn’t back him he showed signs of promise with an encouraging third to Taamol and Larchmont Lad. He attempted to make all that day, before getting swallowed up close home. This looks to be an easier race and also on a course that could play to his strengths. If he’s given an easy lead on the front end, like I expect, then he could get away from these coming down the hill. I think this is a good bit of placement from John Gosden and I think the Frankel colt can regain the winning thread here.

BACK SEVEN HEAVENS at 4.00 (Bet365, Paddy Power, Betfair)

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