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ITV Racing Tips: Four Picks For Epsom On Derby Day

It’s Betfred Derby day at Epsom Downs on Saturday afternoon with the main event taking place at 4:30pm with a big field going to post to try and etch their name in Classic history. Our in-house tipster Steve Chambers has taken a look at Epsom card, which lights up the ITV Racing schedule and he has four selections…

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2:35pm Epsom – Betfred Diomed Stakes

Regal Reality claimed victory in this race 12 months ago, but Sir Michael Stoute’s charge is now nine years old and may just struggle to replicate that success in the 2024 renewal. One that could get the better of the Freemason Lodge inmate is Charlie Appleby’s HIGHLAND AVENUE, who ended last season with a Group 3 win in the Darley Stakes and could prove to be better than his rivals here.

He will need to carry a penalty here, so has to give weight away, but he was only beaten three-quarters-of-a-length in this 12 months ago by Regal Reality and he can turn second into first this term. Last seen finishing sixth in a Group 2 at Meydan in February, the Godolphin six-year-old should enjoy a return to British shores and he can land this race in style.

Betfred Diomed Stakes (Group 3)
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3:10pm Epsom – Betfred 3YO ‘Dash’ Handicap

It’s a hugely competitive day’s racing at Epsom and one of the toughest punting puzzles is the 3YO Dash Handicap at 3:10pm and it’s all about speed for this five-furlong event. Grandlad and Mart are two contenders that head into the race on the back of a brace of wins, but there could be some more attractive each-way value further down the betting and the one that stands out is ROGUE ENFORCER for Peter Chapple-Hyam.

The Profitable colt ended last season a rapid incline with impressive wins at Beverley and Catterick. He failed to fire on his first start when seventh at Sandown off a mark of 85, but he missed the break that day and was always struggling to get on terms. Having previously broke well on his two wins then you have to forgive him that run and with success on heavy going and off a 1lb lower mark of 84 he has to be a huge player at big odds.

Betfred 3YO “Dash” Handicap
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3:45pm Epsom – Aston Martin ‘Dash’ Handicap

A course-and-distance winner here back in April, NIGHT ON EARTH is bidding for more success at Epsom and the Ian Williams-trained raider has to be a lively player at double-figured odds in the iconic Dash Handicap at 3:45pm. He broke well to get on the front end in his last visit to the track and this race is all about raw speed and he has bundles of it. He failed to fire from a wide draw at Chester next time out, while he was last seen finishing fourth at Goodwood.

However, a return to Epsom could be the making of him and while he’s 7lbs higher than that April victory he looks more than capable of being prominent from the get go. Last year’s second and third, Silky Wilkie and Clarendon House have to be key dangers, but they are half the price of Night On Earth, who can strike gold.

Aston Martin “Dash” Handicap (Heritage Handicap)
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4:30pm Epsom – Betfred Derby

It’s a Betfred Derby full of imponderables with some contenders looking to mend their dented reputations, while it sees some fast improvers looking to step up to the big time. Well, if you’d been told that star juvenile CITY OF TROY would be available around the 7/2 mark at the start of the season for the Derby then punters across the land would’ve snapped your hand off.

Well, that’s where we sit after the Aidan O’Brien-trained superstar flopped in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket and he’s now here to show he is a class apart. With a lack of depth to this year’s Derby then City Of Troy has to be the obvious selection as the Ballydoyle team have already uttered that the Justify colt may have been a little undercooked for the Guineas and it’s a mistake they won’t make twice at Epsom.

Of course you have to bank on the O’Brien team getting him back to his best, but with nine wins in the race already the legendary trainer knows what it takes to win this race. Stablemate Los Angeles and Charlie Appleby’s Ancient Wisdom are the two main dangers, but it’s City Of Troy’s time to shine once again and etch his name into the greatness category!

Betfred Derby (Group 1) (British Champions Series) (No Geldings)

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