Bank Holiday Betting at Epsom

Plenty of action on offer on the horse racing front this Bank Holiday Monday, with six British and Irish cards to get stuck into. The pick of the bunch from a betting perspective – and in terms of the class of runner on show – looks to come at Epsom. Here we pick out our best bets in each of the seven races on the card at the Surrey venue.

1:55 British EBF Novice Auction Stakes (Class 4) 7f

A small field affair for the youngster’s kicks of the days action with Hughie Morrison’s Indian Viceroy looking likely to start clear favourite on the day. Going in the hands of the in-form Oisin Murphy and on the back of a win at Newmarket last time out, he makes obvious appeal. Quite whether he is as far clear of the rest as his cramped odds would suggest we aren’t so sure.

This isn’t a race to go mad in but from a betting perspective we prefer a small punt on Richard Spencer’s Jean Valjean. Having just the third start of his career here, this son of Bated Breath is less exposed than both Indian Viceroy and Water Diviner and the presence of In The Wings on the dam side of his pedigree suggests he may well find more stepping up to 7f for the first time.

Tip: Jean Valjean to win at 7/1 with Ladbrokes

2:30 Fly China Southern Handicap (Class 5) 6f

The first of the days handicaps up next as the three year olds tackle the 6f course. The Charles Hills runner Hula Girl looks interesting on handicap debut but does need to find improvement and the Hills yard doesn’t seem to be quite firing on all cylinders at present. Han Solo Berger takes a drop in class and ought to go well, but getting weight from them both, and with Aled Beech taking off a useful 7lbs, the one to be on is the Charlie Fellowes runner Haverland. A strongly run race over this trip out to suit one who stays further than this and he’s fancied to run on into a place at least.

Tip: Haverland each way at 9/1 with PaddyPower

3:05 China Southern Airlines Handicap (Class 2) 5f

The feature race of the day will all be over in a flash as the contenders do battle over one of the fastest 5f in the sport. Course and distance winner Bahamian Sunrise makes some appeal at a double figure price, particularly as he has drawn stall 1. The conditions of this race dictate that he has to run from 3lbs out of the handicap though which makes life tough.

The class act in this line up is the Robert Cowell runner Blue De Vega. Third in the Irish 2000 Guineas back in 2016, he has endured an up and down time of things since but showed that sprinting is perhaps his thing these days when landing a handicap at Ascot off a mark of 93. He’s up to 96 ahead of this but showed this course and distance holds no fears when an unlucky in running fourth in the Dash here in June. Oisin Murphy is riding out of his skin at present and is fancied to get this one home in front.

Tip: Blue De Vega to win at 2/1 with Coral


3:40 China Southern Sanya Amateurs’ Derby Handicap (Class 4) 1m4f

Expect a wide array of riding quality in this event as the amateur jockeys navigate their way around the Derby course and distance. Another race to tread carefully in here given the conditions of the race, with the weights carried by the runners being more in line with what one would expect in a jumps contest.

In events such as this we like to side with a runner proven under the conditions. As such there’s a lot to like about last years winner, C’Est No Mour. A perfect two from two over this course and distance, with the most recent of those wins in April coming off this mark of 81, and going for the same jockey who steered him home twelve months ago, he looks the safest option in a tricky event.

Tip: C’Est No Mour each way at 11/2 with PaddyPower

4:15 Walter Nightingall Conditions Stakes (Class 3) 1m2f

We have a couple of really likeable old boys in our next contest in the shape of Sovereign Debt and Gabrial, both of whom have won at a higher level than this in the past. With a previous win at the track to his name, preference would be for Sovereign Debt, but we suspect he may just be vulnerable to the younger legs in the field.

Overall the three year old, Willie John, looks like being tough to beat. Unbeaten in two starts to date, an entry in the Group 1 Qipco Champion Stakes would suggest that they think a fair bit of this one at home. He really could be anything at this stage, but couldn’t have done it any easier at Doncaster last time out, and if he is to come anywhere near justifying that Group 1 entry, he really ought to be up to taking this Class 3 contest.

Tip: Willie John to win at 8/11 with Ladbrokes

4:50 Handicap (Class 3) 1m2f

The penultimate race on the card looks a really competitive affair with a sound case to be made for a few of these. Richard Hannon’s Bathseba Bay and Martin Smith’s, The Emperor Within are high up on the shortlist, but narrow preference is for, Liva. Epsom is such an idiosynchratic track that a proven ability to handle its unique turns and contours counts for plenty. This son of Champs Elysees was value for a fair bit more than the 1½l winning margin when scooting up here in July and is only 4lbs higher here. He did blow up at Newmarket last time out, but looked to do too much early on that day and can bounce back now returned to this track.

Tip: Liva each way at 7/1 with Coral


5:25 China Southern Dreamliner Handicap (Class 4) 1m½f

Plenty of course form to go on in the finale, with Deadly Accurate, Corazon Espinado and Duke Of North all having a previous win at the track to their name. Preference though is for the Clive Cox runner, Cuban Heel. This one has been running consistently well of late – barring one aberration at Goodwood – and gets a 2lb pull in the weights with Corazon Espinado for just a half length defeat over this track and trip in April. Three year olds have won the past three renewals of this and this son of Havana Gold is fancied to make it four in a row.

Tip: Cuban Heel to win at 2/1 with Ladbrokes