AUTHOR: Star Sports Content


Epsom’s two day Derby meeting gets underway on Friday and I’m looking forward to riding there. It’s a unique track and is one where you often ride the course rather than the horse if that makes sense. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea but I always enjoy the buzz of riding around there. I’ll be riding out at home in Newmarket first – not sure yet whether that will be at Chris Dwyer’s or at the Crisfords. I’ll then go home, freshen up and go and sit on the M25 for a bit! I’ve two nice rides to look forward to and we will be doing a Zoom Room again with the guys for Saturday’s Cazoo Derby.

Here are my thoughts on Friday’s action…




My first ride of the afternoon is aboard last year’s winner Corazon Espinado for Simon Dow. He’s only 1lb higher in the weights than last year (pictured below, second left) and must have a big chance in what looks a really competitive race. It’s funny to think I won on him around here four years ago – that ages us both! I guess landing trap 16 of 16 over this sort of trip is a negative, but he won despite a double-figure draw 12 months ago. I’m hopeful if we get a smooth enough passage – that’s the big ‘if’ though!

3.10pm – Coronation Cup

No ride for me in the Coronation Cup where last year’s winner Pyledriver is back to defend his title. Sadly, Martin Dwyer is on the sidelines so Frankie (Dettori) steps in for the ride. He was a bit unlucky in Meydan last time and if he reproduces that effort, I think he’ll win. Manobo looks the obvious threat.


My only other ride on the card is Sweet Reward in the Cazoo Handicap. He’s only a couple of pounds higher than when winning at Goodwood last September so hopefully he’ll be happy on a similar track full of unique undulations. This looks tough though with the likes of Soto Sizzler and the progressive Moktasaab looking the big dangers.

4.30pm – Cazoo Oaks

The feature race of the afternoon is the Cazoo Oaks where it will be fascinating to see if Emily Upjohn can land another classic for Frankie. She looked very good at Sandown on her reappearance and then a bit special when quickening away from her rivals in the Musidora at York. She’s a massive filly though and you never know whether she’ll handle Epsom or not. I think she’ll be okay, but it’s no certainty. For that reason I’ll take a chance with NashwaΒ (pictured below) the mount of Hollie Doyle. The pair were mightily impressive at Newbury last time and quickened up past me as if I was standing still. She’s medium sized which is perfect when it comes to balancing your way around Epsom. There are a few stamina concerns, but she wasn’t stopping last time and will take some beating.

Good Luck