Value Bet: Siding with Daisy
Ben Linfoot seeks out the value on Investec Oaks day at Epsom and he's got three tips at double-figure prices.
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Although we've been staring at the possibility of a soft ground Oaks for the last few weeks, we're now officially 'Good' with 17 fillies set to do battle in the Investec-sponsored Classic.
Aidan O'Brien's Marvellous heads the betting after her Irish 1000 Guineas success last time but looks well worth taking on at the prices. Looking at her pedigree she looks a doubtful stayer and her starting berth in stall two doesn't inspire confidence.
Sheikh Hamdan's pair, Taghrooda and Tarfasha, are both huge players. Both look likely to step up on what they have previously achieved now they tackle a mile-and-a-half and either could win, with preference for Dermot Weld's filly.
Taghrooda's Newmarket form hasn't worked out well and while that may not matter, it does temper enthusiasm for her at the current prices. On the other hand, Tarfasha's Blue Wind Stakes victory has barely been tested, but seventh home Euphrasia ran a cracker behind Noble Mission and Magician in the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh last time, though she may have been flattered by her proximity to the two big guns at the line.
I think Tarfasha will go close, but at this morning's odds I couldn't argue that she's overpriced and the one I keep coming back to is Hughie Morrison's MARSH DAISY at 12/1.
Straight after her Height Of Fashion win at Goodwood, Morrison said that he didn't think she was an Oaks filly as he wasn't sure Epsom would be her track. Those initial doubts raise some concerns, but the way she skipped around Goodwood gives confidence as far as today's course goes and clearly connections have had a change of heart.
Her smooth win at Goodwood marked her out as potentially classy and she left some good fillies that had run well in previous Oaks trials (Pyschometry and Secret Pursuit from the Cheshire Oaks and Jordan Princess from the Pretty Polly) trailing in her wake.
On what we've seen of her I think she has almost as much potential as the likes of Taghrooda and Tarfasha, but she is a much bigger price and looking at her pedigree she isn't going to fail on stamina grounds.
A half-sister to lots of winners that stayed a mile-and-a-half and further (Yankee Doodle, Belle Josephine and Bariloche to name three), today's trip could bring about further improvement in Marsh Daisy and at 12/1 she's worth a small bet in a renewal that looks more wide open than the market suggests.
Perhaps ideally she would want a bit of cut, but on perfect ground conditions I don't think the going will be an excuse for any horse and to be honest I'm not concerned about it for Marsh Daisy.
Earlier on there's lots of pace in the Investec Wealth & Investment Handicap and I'll be backing a couple of hold-up horses in RESURGE and AUSSIE REIGNS.
Resurge is an Epsom specialist with four course and distance wins to his name and though he's now nine-years-old, 10/1 seems a tad generous this morning considering he's well-handicapped and the race should be run to suit.
Two of his C&D wins came off marks 4lb and 7lb higher and Jim Crowley left him with plenty to do on his seasonal reappearance at the track. He's better than that and with Soviet Rock, Farraaj, Sennockian Star, Clon Brulee and Salutation set to make this a decent test, he could fly down the Epsom camber with a familiar relish.
Gworn and Air Pilot could also get involved from off the pace but the former might want a flat track and the latter is inexperienced so I'm also going to back Aussie Reigns at 18/1.
This horse has been a massive improver for connections, rising from an opening handicap mark of 70 to 104 and it's difficult to argue he's well-handicapped.
He is, however, a big price on recent form as he was unlucky last time at Lingfield when hampered and he was on good terms with himself at Meydan.
A winner over a mile-and-a-half, the fact he stays further could hold him good stead today and he's another that looks likely to be doing his best work at the finish. With Oisin Murphy taking off what could be a vital 3lb I want him onside at 18/1.
1pt win Resurge in 2.10 Epsom at 10/1
1pt win Aussie Reigns in 2.10 Epsom at 18/1
1pt win Marsh Daisy in 4.00 Epsom at 12/1
Ben Linfoot's Value Bet Aim: The Value Bet is designed to generate long-term profit by searching for overpriced horses in the feature weekend races and at the big Festivals in the UK. Running total: +256.81pts to advised stakes/prices (from inception of Value Bet column in January 2010 to current).