ITV Racing Tips for Epsom’s Oaks Day 2023
The opener on Betfred Oaks day is the Woodcote Stakes, a 6f conditional race for the 2 year-olds.
I like BOBSLEIGH (7/1) NAP here for the Eve Johnson Houghton team. She’s underrated with her 2 year-olds and Bobsleigh made his debut at Brighton when the stable were slightly under a cloud and coming on for their first outing of the season. However, that didn’t stop Bobsleigh from winning well on debut at Brighton on similar good to firm ground. He was held up off the pace there and showed a useful turn of foot to win going away by nearly 3 lengths. I was impressed with that effort and the form has held up well. The stable are in a lot better form now and I’d expect significant improvement on just his second start here. Brighton is a unique track so I’m confident the undulations of Epsom won’t be a problem.
Next up at 2:35 is the a tricky handicap over the 1m and a half of furlong trip.
I think ALL THE KINGS MEN (5/1) is a winning in waiting off this current mark of 89 and today might be the day. He’s held his form well, very rarely running a bad race and the way he stayed on over 7f last time out finishing a close third at Thirsk suggest this step up in trip could bring out the necessary improvement to get his head back in front. George Boughey is in decent form and he opts for first-time blinkers here which again could squeeze out further improvement. William Buick rides this place well and he won’t be far away here from a nice draw in stall 4.
It’s Group 1 action at 3:10 and it’s a tricky renewal of the Coronation Cup despite their only being five runners.
All five have a chance but I have landed on EMILY UPJOHN (3/1) here. A really unlucky second here in the Oaks last season going down by a short head despite things going wrong throughout the race. She then disappointed in the King George before really bouncing back to form on Champions Day landing the Group 1 Fillies and Mares in pretty decisive fashion. I think she can kick on again this season and she gets weights here off her four rivals which could be key.
The 3:45 race is another competitive handicap, this time over 1m2f.
It’s MAJESTIC NB for me here. He’s rounding into form nicely after a really encouraging 4th in the Lincoln on seasonal reappearance on unfavored heavy ground. I think that probably took more out of them then connections realised as he disappointed at Newmarket next time out finishing mid-division. He bounced back to form over this trip last time out staying on strongly for a never nearer fourth. He has no fitness excuses now and with the Jack Channon team back amongst the winners after a quiet spell, he’ll do for me here.
The feature comes up at 4:30 and it is the Group 1 Betfred Oaks for the 3 year-old fillies over 1m4f.
At the prices I’d like RUNNING LION (13/2) EW. I think the front three in the market are well clear of the rest and they could very easily fill the first three places. Running Lion has been progressing well winning her last two starts of her 2 year-old campaign before winning both starts now at 3. She won over the mile at Kempton first time out in a race that looked strong on paper. She then stepped up to 1m2f at Newmarket and won impressively by over 4L showing a decent turn of foot on soft ground. The fact she stayed 1m2f at Newmarket on soft ground f brings optimism that this 1m4f on quicker ground should be fine. Oisin Murphy bids to add another Classic to his campaign and he will quite rightly fancy his chances. At the prices, Running Lion is the one for me.
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