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The Mandarin’s Epsom Downs Racecard for Friday 31st May 2024

The Mandarin’s Epsom Downs Racecard for Friday 31st May 2024

Betfred British EBF Woodcote Stakes 2.00
Tee J
The opener on Oaks day can go to Karl Burke’s Tee J, who wouldn’t have to improve much from her win at Chester to land this. Coming out of the chute on the 6 furlong course leads into an easier bend that the 7 furlong track, so the draw in Stall 6 looks ideal. She took to the Chester track well, where most of the course is on a curve, so that gives hope this Mehmas filly will come on further. Megalithic and New Charter rate the main dangers, but Tee J looks progressive so gets our vote

Trustatrader Handicap 2.35
Blue For You
The chance is taken on David O’Meara’s Blue For You for this valuable Handicap. His fourth of seventeen at York on his seasonal reappearance having had a wind op was encouraging enough, and Jamie Spencer is just the man to put his tactics to good use on Epsom’s particular track. Expect a late run from Blue For You, who makes plenty of each-way appeal

Holland Cooper Coronation Cup (Group 1) 3.10
William Haggas will be praying for rain to get the best out of Hamish, especially with Emily Upjohn going to post in this select field of five. He’s eight years old now, but proved as good as ever when taking the John Porter Stakes at Newbury on his return to action last month, digging deep in the final furlong for that Group 3 success. With Emily Upjohn in this line-up Hamish will have his work cut out as John & Thady Gosdens’ mare knows this track well, having won this race last year and going a close second in the Oaks in 2022, but with more showers around the going could turn in the selection’s favour. French raider Feed The Flame and Aidan O’Brien’s Luxembourg both have claims, but it’s Hamish to get upsides of Emily Upjohn in a cracking renewal

Betfred Nifty 50 Handicap 3.45
Liberty Lane
The top-weight Liberty lane sets the standard here, and wouldn’t have to imrove much from his Newmarket win earlier this month. That said, this particular track will be a new experience for him, but Karl Burke’s Teofilo gelding remains unexposed and can handle ground from good to soft, so any rain around in this unsettled week shouldn’t be a concern. Ben Brookhouse’s I Still Have Faith had a good season last year and makes the shortlist, along with Liberty Lane’s stablemate, Bolster. They are the three to note, with Liberty Lane just edging it

Betfred Oaks (Group 1) (Fillies) 4.30
Ylang Ylang (nap)
Ylang Ylang was a top class Juvenile, winning three of her five starts, and showed that she had trained on when a three-quarter length fifth in the 1,000 Guineas. She was nearest at the finish in that first Fillies’ Classic, giving notice that she’s ready for this longer trip. Proven at Group 1 level when landing the Fillies’ Mile at the end of last season on soft ground, conditions shouldn’t be an issue here. Irish raider Ezeliya looks a progressive sort ready for this mile and a half trip, while Ralph Beckett’s Forest Fairy has a decent pedigree and hasn’t hit her ceiling yet. Aidan O’Brien to scoop more Classic glory with Ylang Ylang

Aston Martin Surrey Stakes (Listed) 5.10
Zoum Zoum (nb)
It may pay to side with Ralph Beckett’s Zoum Zoum for this Listed contest. This Zoustar gelding won all three Juvenile starts, and proved all the ability has gone from two to three when dead-heating for second in the Greenham Stakes at Newbury last month. The enthusiastic Balmacara can give Zoum Zoum the most to think about, but needs to navigate that tight turn out of the chute without drifting too wide. Zoum Zoum is on his inside around that crucial turn, and should get the better track position to bag this Listed race

Molson Coors Handicap 5.40
Mission To Moon
Roger Varian can take the closer with Mission To Moon. This U S Navy Flag colt won with plenty in hand at Goodwood earlier this month, and now Oisin Murphy takes up the reins just to add to the appeal. Similarly, Tom Marquand is a notable booking on Spanish Star for Patrick Chamings, and did win this race last year, so clearly acts on Epsom’s track. Richard Hannon’s Dark Thirty completes the shortlist, but Mission To Moon gets the nudge

The Mandarin

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