Epsom Dash Handicap Betting Tips & Predictions – Saturday 1st June 2019

The first Saturday in June each year can mean only one thing for racing fans, as Epsom Downs plays host to what is just about the most eagerly anticipated flat race of the entire season. The eyes of the racing world will of course be on the Derby, but it takes more than one race to make a quality card, and the pick of the supporting action is this pedal-to-the-metal 5f sprint handicap.

A real cracker in store once again, and whilst a win for Caspian Prince would likely bring the house down, we see this falling to the horse who came oh so close to reeling him in two years ago.

Top Tips

Dark Shot each way @ 10/1

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

Race Info

Watching the build up to this race, you are more than likely to hear it referred to as the fastest 5f in the game, and for once that is no idle boast. Stone Of Folca set the 5f world record over this course and distance in 2012. Aided by the 5f track being a predominantly downhill affair, this is a race for the real speedballs.

GoingDistanceGradePrize MoneyRunnersEW Terms
Good 5f Class 2 £100,000 20 Runners 1/4 1-4

Recent Winners

“Sprint King” Dandy Nicholls certainly lived up to his nickname in this race in sending out a record setting five winners between 1997 and 2009. Of the trainers on show this year it is two-time winner Paul Midgley who boasts the best record, making his sole entry Line Of Reason worth a second look.

Looking at the draw, it seems to be middle to high numbers which have held the edge, with seven of the past 10 winners having emerged from stall nine or above.

2018 Tanosoq 12/1 Paul Midgley James Sullivan
2017 Caspian Prince 25/1 Tony Coyle Tom Eaves
2016 Caspian Prince 11/1 Dean Ivory Robert Winston
2015 Desert Law 16/1 Paul Midgley Martin Lane
2014 Caspian Prince 9/1 Tony Carroll Adam Kirby

Analysis: Dark To Put Rivals In The Shade

Course and distance form can count for plenty here, and this year the weights are headed by the remarkable three-time winner of the race, Caspian Prince. Attempting to win this for a fourth different trainer and fourth different jockey, does he still have it in him at ten years of age? With 19 speedy rivals in opposition, he will likely need to be right at is very best, and the suspicion is the younger legs may just reel him in.

Hathiq Has A Squeak

The runner arriving into this race on a real upwards trajectory is the Irish raider, Hathiq. Hailing from the yard of Denis Hogan, this son of Exceed And Excel heads here seeking a hat-trick having blown his rivals away in his two most recent starts at this trip. With the most recent of those wins having come only last week, he gets in here with just a four pound penalty and looks well in on the book. He likes to do it from the front, which is what you want around here, and providing the race doesn’t come too soon, he looks likely to go very close.

Much To Like About Muthmir

The class act in this year’s line-up may well be the William Haggas runner, Muthmir. Twice placed in Group 1 company, including when only narrowly beaten in the 2015 Kings Stand Stakes, he clearly isn’t quite the force of old at nine years of age, but having fallen to a mark of 105 – from a career high of 116 – he may not need to be. Third in a Group 3 over in France as recently as September last year, he makes his seasonal return in this and looks very dangerous if getting the breaks when he needs them.

Scott Has A Shot

The third runner for our shortlist is Scott Dixon’s, Dark Shot. This one put in an incredible performance in this race when second back in 2017. Taken off his toes and stone last with a furlong to go, he fairly scythed through the field to catch all bar Caspian Prince – going down by just a short head at the line. Attempting to lie up closer to the pace last year didn’t suit so well, but he was still only beaten by just under four lengths off a mark of 90. Getting in off four pounds lower here, expect to see him doing all his best work late and possibly at least hit the frame once again.

Final Verdict: Dark Shot Each Way

Muthmir looks very dangerous here, particularly with Hathiq and Copper Knight drawn close by and likely to give him a nice tow into the race. At a bigger price though we will be siding with a runner to win this at the third time of asking.

Drawn next to Caspian Prince, Dark Shot couldn’t ask for a better horse to follow to take him into this and is fancied to get in the slipstream of that trailblazer and nab them all close to home.

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