Architect Tips continues his new daily Tote Placepot tips column with selections for the first six races at Epsom.
Leg 1 Selections: LADY RESET, SONGO
A good-quality card at Epsom and I like the chances of LADY RESET in the opener for the David Pipe team. Her form figures in this sphere since May last year reads 113272122 and she was unlucky to be beaten a head at Salisbury last-time-out. She’s not yet raced over a distance this far on the Flat but, if she stays, she has to go close to winning this race. Serena Brotherton takes the ride, who’s no negative to have on your side either.
The Milton Harris-trained SONGO is unbeaten under these conditions (good to firm) and made it two-from-three for the year when he won at Salisbury last month. I think he’s very well-treated off a mark of 75 here and the runner-up has subsequently defied a mark of 78 to boost the form. He has won four of his six starts in this sphere and has Gina Andrews in the saddle, so he’s the one to beat on the form available.
Leg 2 Selections: SELF PRAISE
This should present a lovely opportunity for Hugo Palmer’s SELF PRAISE to score with the opposition looking rather thin. He has finished runner-up on his last three starts and despite returning a beaten odds-on favourite at Newmarket last time, he should make amends here. His penultimate second, over course-and-distance, was a fair effort as he made up so much ground down the home straight behind Legend Of Xanadu.
This is a significant drop in grade and the experience of this course will have strengthened him up both physically and mentally. This son of Twilight Son should prove too good for these and can therefore deservedly open his account under Danny Tudhope here. In The Storm is the main danger but shouldn’t be good enough to trouble the favourite, who sets a high standard.
Leg 3 Selections: BOWMAN, POCKET THE PROFIT
BOWMAN caused a huge shock at the Epsom Derby meeting here last time, where he kept up a relentless gallop to claim the spoils against useful opponents. He has gone up six pounds as a result but he’s clearly on an upward curve for this stable and there’s a chance he will be able to do what he did last time back down into this grade. With a similar effort, I really can’t see him out of the frame at the very least here.
POCKET THE PROFIT could only finish sixth behind the former here last time, but he’s on better terms with the winner now, and his recent efforts have suggested that he’s not quite finished with this mark. He’s a pound lower than last time and is likely to be ridden closer to the pace this time round too. With more to come, and with Franny Norton booked to ride, he could be set to make it win number six in his career.
Leg 4 Selections: MARLAY PARK
MARLAY PARK makes a lot of appeal for leg four with Hollie Doyle in the saddle. He remains four pounds above his last winning mark but saves his best for this course and was staying on to be third over course-and-distance off a two pound higher mark on his last visit here. Before that, he had won and was second here on two visits and is dealt with a nice draw in stall five too.
His first three starts this year were a bit underwhelming but he took a step back in the right direction when fourth at Leicester last time and appears to be coming to the boil at the right moment for this race. It’s a positive to see Hollie Doyle take the reins and while this is a wide-open contest, Jim Boyle’s charge looks a serious player back at this favourite venue.
Leg 5 Selections: HYANNA, URBAN VIOLET
HYANNA isn’t the force she once was, given she was rated as high as 100 in her prime, due to some creditable performances in higher-quality handicaps but she went close off a mark of 92 last year and finds herself fourteen pounds below her last winning mark. The first-time cheekpieces helped her sparkle a revival when fourth at Windsor nearly four weeks ago and is two pounds lower here. Hollie Doyle rides and her mount looks more than capable of going close in this race.
URBAN VIOLET was successful last season off a pound higher mark and got back on track when coming from well off the pace to take second at Yarmouth over a mile last time. This race is likely to be run to suit and while she’s not proven at this course, the step back up in distance looks a good move. The way she hit the line last time suggests this trip could unlock more improvement and, provided she’s in the same form here as last time, I reckon she’ll pose a threat in the latter stages. She’s the second choice.
Leg 6 Selections: BANNERGIRL, MINT JULEP
A chance is taken on a couple of outsiders in leg six in the hope we get to the last race on today’s pool. BANNERGIRL has yet to win after fifteen starts but she went close twice last year off this mark and could be suited to the much longer trip here. Dougie Costello is an interesting jockey booking too. She’s likely to carry fewer units.
MINT JULEP is another runner looking for a first success but she ran well on her only previous try over this trip and has performed with credit on both her previous turf starts as well. She’s open to improvement and has been given the best seat in the house in stall one, provided she doesn’t get sandwiched early doors. She could surprise a few at large odds in the finale.