A particularly talented field of 15 runners has been confirmed to contest this weekend’s featured Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Royal Randwick, offering punters exceptional value from a betting standpoint and several key opportunities to place a winning bet.
Having returned to racing in typically strong form this season, classy Chris Waller-trained mare Royal Descent has opened as and maintained favouritism in Epsom Handicap betting markets, currently available at odds of $4.40 ahead of Toydini ($6), 2013 champion Boban and Laser Hawk ($8.50) at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Will Royal Descent return to the winner’s circle in the 2014 Epsom Handicap, or will one of her talented rivals find the line in the clear?
Star Rolling ($13)
Allocated the ideal barrier 2 and treated well with weights, all signs seem to point towards a maiden Group 1 victory for classy sprinter Star Rolling in the 2014 Epsom Handicap, and is more than worth consideration for a bet at generous $13 odds. Securing five wins and two minor places from his 13 competitive starts so far, Star Rolling was unlucky to be balloted out of several of his 2013 spring racing targets, but still managed notable results highlighted by a strong win in the Listed Penang Trophy. Running on for second in the Group 3 Carlyon Cup (1600m) and third in the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) most notably over four autumn starts, the Casino Prince gelding charged home to win the Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) first-up this time in, but has been relative luckless in each of his two proceeding starts.
Allocated barrier 1 for his Epsom Handicap defence, Boban was the standout performer over the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival; claiming five wins from as many starts highlighted by both the Epsom and Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m). Adding the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) over autumn while unable to reach the same racing heights, the Bernardini gelding has been solid over three black type starts this time in, particularly when fourth in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) when displaying his signature late charge to finish fourth by just a head when settling at the rear of the field. Confirmed to be partnered by veteran and regular jockey Glyn Schofield, punters may find value in adding Boban as a selection in an Epsom Handicap quinella or trifecta bet.
Getting into the Epsom Handicap at particularly exceptional weights of just 52kgs, trainer John Thompson has been thrilled with the condition of Hooked in the lead-up to the Epsom Handicap and is confident of a maiden Group 1 for the classy four-year-old. Hitting exceptional form over the 2014 Autumn Carnival, the son of Casino Prince steadily built to the task in finishing fifth in both the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) and Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) before arguably securing his most impressive result when charging home for third in the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) on April 12th. Securing an easy win in the Group 3 Cameron Handicap (1500m) most recently, Hooked is well and truly worth consideration for a bet at current Epsom Handicap odds.
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