It is the first weekend in June, and that can only mean one thing – it is time for the Derby meeting at Epsom! We have two cracking bets for followers of the SBO Racing tips, so get on the best odds guaranteed prices early.
Johnny Gosden is a distinctive figure in the training ranks. Often sporting the bowler hat, Gosden is a trainer big in stature and personality. He is very astute and has an unrivalled record when it comes to training fillies and mare. The Newmarket maestro looks to have another high class female in his training ranks in the form of Journey and the daughter of Dubawi looks to have a very solid chance of upsetting market leader Highland Reel.
Journey is a very progressive horse with few miles on the clock. This 5-year-old has racked up 5 victories from her last 7 runs, going from being rated 92 to 120. She finished a very fruitful season last year by demolishing a high class field in the Qipco British Fillies & Mares Stakes (Group 1) by 4 lengths. Tracked the leader that day before bursting clear to win by an impressive 4 lengths. The fact that John Gosden keeps this Dubawi mare in training is indicative as to the esteem in which he holds her – he could have very easily sent this talented horse off to be covered by some high class stallions. In fact, Gosden does very well when keeping his females in training at 4 year old+ and she rates the bet at +500 with Bet365.
The Oaks is considered by many as the premium female horse race on the calendar. Contested by top class fillies, the winners value catapults upwards as she becomes very attractive from a breeding point of view. This year, the race has a hot favourite in the form of the Aidan O’Brien trained Rhododendron, and despite her being a hot favourite, there appears to be value on the filly at a shade of odds on. In the eyes of the SBO Racing team, if this horse stays the trip, she wins comfortably, and we believe she has a 70% chance of staying. O’Brien’s representative should be odds on and the fact she isn’t, makes her a strong bet at -120 with Bet365, Coral and Ladbrokes.
Rhododendron started her career at the Curragh, finishing a promising second in a hot race. She then went on to win two races on the bounce before being turned over at the Curragh, finishing third in a Group 1 contest. Improved significantly when stepped up to 1 mile last autumn, winning the Fillies Mile Group 1 contest at Newmarket, propelling her to the top of the 1000 Guineas market. Aidan O’Brien neglected to give the filly a prep run, but that didn’t look to matter at the half way stage as Ryan Moore looked to have a tonne of horse underneath him. Unfortunately for Moore, it wasn’t his finest hour (rare to say that), and the top notch jockey found significant troubling in running, getting in the clear only when the winner had flown. That winner was called Winter, who also hailed from the O’Brien stable, and that gambled on runner has since dotted up in the 1000 Guineas, so the form has well and truly been franked.
Will Rhododendron stay the trip? Well on pedigree she shouldn’t have an issue. She is by Galileo and out of a Pivotal mare, so she is really bred in the purple. The way she finished at Newmarket suggested the extra half mile will not be a problem and could even generate further improvement. There don’t appear to be any standout performers in opposition and Rhododendron could well go off at -200 when the public latch on to just how good she may be.
15:10 Epsom – Journey to win
Friday 2nd June
16:30 Epsom – Rhododendron to win
Friday 2nd June