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Epsom best bets: Strong bid expected from Rhoscolyn in conditions set to suit

The two Epsom Classics taking centre stage this weekend, but Tipstrr pundit Steve Jones has looked beyond the Oaks to provide his best bet from the final race on Friday’s card.

17:40 Epsom:  Molson Coors Handicap  (7 furlongs)

This helter-skelter track is one for the specialists and it very much favours the handy, well-balanced types whilst being totally unsuitable for the long-striding gallopers, who often become unbalanced on its gradients.

The circuit can also be grouped, for form study purposes, with the other sharp, helter-skelter tracks like Goodwood, Brighton, Lingfield and Catterick.

Rhoscolyn has a performance pattern which shows a distinct liking for not only this type of track but also for this specialist seven-furlong trip.

Planet Sport Bet Daily Special: Bet £20+ cash on any runner in the race and if Rhoscolyn finishes in the first 3 places, get a £5 Free Bet

Five of his seven career wins have come over this distance, and his last six successes been achieved with cut in the ground. Most significantly, his last five wins have all come at either Goodwood (four times) or here (once).

Combining those factors, four of his last five wins came over 7f with cut in the ground at either Goodwood or here, precisely the combination of factors he faces today.

He is well up to winning in this grade with four of his last five wins coming in Class 2 handicaps, so he has plenty to recommend him.

It looks significant that James Doyle has been booked to partner him today because it was Doyle who rode him to a four-length success in this race as a three-year-old on good-soft ground, and he is still only 5lbs higher than whenfor that emphatic performance.

Suggested best bet: Rhoscolyn in the 17:40 at Epsom

Rated as high as 106 that same season, up to 105 as a 4yo and 100 at the end of last season, he now runs off 97, which is his lowest mark since he won a Class 2 over a mile at Goodwood last September (on soft).

He ran better than his finishing position in a messy race at Chester last weekend and he has already shown himself to be in good shape this term with a close-up fourth of nine behind today’s rival, Earls, in a Class 2 at Haydock a month ago.

Now a pound lower, this will be the first time he has raced on his favoured helter-skelter track-type since his last win at Goodwood in September last year.

His career figures when racing either here or at Goodwood over 7f with cut in the ground are 11311 with his only defeat coming by a short-head and a nose in a three-way photo, a race in which he ran off 101 (4lbs higher than today).

That evidence suggests a big run is on the cards and it’s also worth noting that several of his wins have come when returning to the track soon after a previous run, as he is today.


Of the others, Spanish Star will have been primed for another big run as he attempts to retain the prize from virtually the same starting position as last year, and off a pound lower mark.
Last year’s win came on good-firm but five of his last seven wins were achieved with some degree of cut in the ground.

Like Rhoscolyn, he is a real specialist on this type of track with five of his eight wins coming either here or at Goodwood, including each of the last four.

He isn’t as much of a seven-furlong specialist as Rhoscolyn, having won twice over this distance with his other six wins coming over shorter sprint trips.

That said, his career-best effort was in this race last year and he arrives in just as good form, so he shouldn’t be far away off a pound lower mark (and 5lbs lower than he was last summer).

Next best bet: Spanish Star in the 17:40 at Epsom


READ MORE: Friday ITV racing tips: Best bets for Day 1 of Epsom’s Derby meeting on May 31

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