Ben Linfoot free horse racing tips for Betfred Oaks day at Epsom June 2

Our racing expert Ben Linfoot has four tips for Epsom on Oaks day this Friday and a theme has developed involving a certain jockey.

The Verdict tips: Friday, June 2

1pt win Yorkshire Terrier in 2.00 Epsom at 11/1 (Hills, BetVictor)

1pt win Fantastic Fox in 2.35 Epsom at 13/2 (General)

1pt win Masekela in 3.45 Epsom at 12/1 (Hills, 11/1 General)

1pt win Clochette in 5.45 Epsom at 6/1 (General)

Sky Bet odds | Paddy Power | Betfair Sportsbook

Mase the ace for Murphy

The Betfred Oaks and Dahlbury Coronation Cup take centre stage at Epsom on Friday and it could be a terrific day for John & Thady Gosden.

Soul Sister looks to have an excellent chance in the Oaks after running away with what looked a deep Musidora at York and stablemate Emily Upjohn is a class act on her day and could give the colts a beating in the Coronation Cup.

It will be interesting to see how Savethelastdance fares in the Oaks on much faster conditions than she has ever encountered, while Emily Upjohn takes on two sons of Frankel in Westover and Hurricane Lane who are very much respected on their best efforts.

While the Gosden double is tempting, the pair have tough enough tasks to resist getting with the Clarehaven fillies at relatively short prices on a card bursting with enticing betting heats.

The best bet on Friday is Andrew Balding’s MASEKELA in the Betfred Handicap and he’s well worth getting onside at 12/1.

Fourth in the Derby 12 months ago when beaten just over five lengths by the aforementioned Westover, he didn’t build on that career high after that but did run respectably in Group 3 company at York and behind Adayar at Doncaster.

Any of those runs, plus the pick of his two-year-old form, would give him an outstanding chance in this race from a mark of 99 and it could be Balding has been working back from Epsom.

He has trained four individual winners at this track for owners Mick and Janice Mariscotti; Drochaid, Native Prospect, Le Don De Vie and Swilcan Bridge, so his first two runs this season could well have been working towards this day.

A no-show on his seasonal debut at Newmarket on his first run since being gelded, he improved markedly on that when ninth at York last time giving plenty of weight away to the field on handicap debut in a hot race (the last horse home won at Redcar the other day).

He raced up with the pace from a wide draw on the Knavesmire in a contest where three of the first four home were held up, but was given an easy time of things in the last furlong when his chance had gone.

The handicapper dropped him 3lb for that, but we can expect further improvement again with the run under his belt and it’s great to see Oisin Murphy back on this horse for the first time since his juvenile days.

Drawn in three, Murphy can either make all or take a lead from Bad Company or The City’s Phantom, but either way I’d be surprised if we don’t see this horse’s best run for ages in this race.

The Verdict: Back MASEKELA in the Betfred Handicap

Epsom Money Back as Cash

Murphy’s law at Epsom

The eagle-eyed amongst you will have noticed Oisin Murphy rides all four selections and while that’s purely coincidence I will be placing a Murphy multiple in a bid to hit the jackpot in case of glorious happenstance.

YORKSHIRE TERRIER looks to get the ball rolling in the opening British EBF 40th Anniversary Woodcote Stakes for Charlie Johnston and this horse can put his experience to good use at a big price of 11/1.

Twice a winner at Southwell, he was too keen in between those wins at Newmarket but he showed no signs of being inconvenienced by the different surface and it was a red-hot two-year-old race with loads of winners coming out of it subsequently.

He was one of those under a penalty back at Southwell, where he showed loads of pace to dominate from the outset and that can be a vital asset under Murphy from stall 12.

Mark Johnston won this race a few times in the last decade with Buratino and Cardsharp and both came into it with multiple runs under their belts.

It looks like Charlie has used the same tactic with this son of Bow Creek, a sire the yard know well, as he comes into this as the joint-most experienced horse in the race with three runs. All of those were over five, but he looks certain to improve at six given his dam was a stayer.

The Verdict: Back YORKSHIRE TERRIER in the Woodcote

Charlie Johnston stable tour 2023

Fantastic pair in the handicaps

In the Racehorse Lotto Handicap FANTASTIC FOX has a fantastic chance for Murphy and Roger Varian with 13/2 looking on the big side.

Varian has a superb record in Epsom handicaps, winning 12 from 51 at 23.53%, and he was slightly unlucky not to add this race to that winning number last year when Fantastic Fox got stopped in his run late on before finishing well for third.

That came off a 5lb higher mark as he’s dropped 4lb for running twice over 10 furlongs this season, but a strongly-run mile looks his bag.

Alrehb, Too Tempting, Revich and Austrian Theory look among the front-runners here and a solid gallop looks likely, which will play to Fantastic Fox’s strengths dropping back in trip.

Finally, Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum is another owner with a great record at Epsom and he looks to have a live chance with CLOCHETTE in the closing Winners Wear Cavani Handicap.

Balding and Murphy team up again here with the daughter of No Nay Never who had a winter reputation big enough to be entered in both the English and French Guineas before she reappeared in a Listed race over a mile at York’s Dante meeting.

She was keen that day after 301 days off the track but was only beaten three lengths by a couple of 100-rated fillies who promise to rate higher and Clochette should benefit for the experience.

Dropping back to seven furlongs looks a smart move on that evidence and a mark of 93 could well underestimate a filly that had Classic aspirations earlier in the year.


Preview posted at 1400 BST on 01/06/23

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