Epsom Handicap Tips & Preview
Looking for Epsom Handicap tips on Saturday, October 3? Our form expert previews the Randwick showpiece and gives his best bets.
Epsom Handicap Preview
A capacity field of 20 plus one emergency with horses coming through eight different form races.
Of those eight form races, the George Main Stakes (1600m) rated highest with the winner Kolding going 11.3 lengths quicker than standard BM.
The Theo Marks Stakes (1300m) rated next best with the winner Wild Planet going 8.4 lengths quicker than standard while Mister Sea Wolf was next best going 7.3 lengths quicker than BM when winning the Chelmsford Stakes (1600m).
Rock also rated highly for his win in the Cameron Handicap (1500m) and Riodini produced a strong figure when runner-up to I Am Superman in the Shannon Stakes (1500m).
I don’t think we need to look any further than this pair or the previously mentioned form races to find the winner of the Epsom Handicap on Saturday.
Who gets in best at the weights?
Of the George Main Stakes runners, Colette drops 4.5kg, Star Of The Seas and Imaging drop 3.5kg and Kolding only gets 2.5kg less.
I tipped Kolding in the George Main because his peak pattern suggested his best run would be third-up, but he generally decreases fourth-up and I’m happy to oppose him as he meets the others worse at the weights.
Three of Imaging’s best run have been second-up so I’m also looking away from him as I don’t think he has the upside of others.
Watching the George Main replay, it was clear to see Colette was running on empty as she crossed the line, and I think she’ll take massive improvement out of the run – but I’m not sure she’s quite ready.
Star Of The Seas predictably peaks third-up and gets in well at the weights, and he’s my top pick from the George Main brigade.
Wild Planet only drops 1kg on his winning run where he carried 1kg less than the runner-up Funstar and now meets her 1.5kg worse off.
Wild Planet has peaked third-up in his last two campaigns and produced a PB of 12.6 lengths quicker than BM third-up last time in, but that was over 1400m and his only run over the mile rated much lower.
The high-pressure environment of the Epsom makes the race more like a 2000m event so I’m reluctant to side with Wild Planet especially when he meets Funstar worse at the weights and she is sure to improve over further.
It wouldn’t surprise me to see Funstar win, but she needs to go to a new level to be winning on Saturday, and it’s hard to be confident in her with just pure speculation.
Yulong Prince meets Mister Sea Wolf 2kg better at the weights after both horses carried 59kg in the Chelsmford Stakes where Mister Sea Wolf narrowly scored from Yulong Prince.
This race rated six lengths below the George Main on both times and BM figures, so I’m happy to risk Mister Sea Wolf when he drops 3kg and doesn’t have a patter of improving third-up, while Star Of The Seas does peak third-up and drops 3.5kg.
However, Yulong Prince drops 5kg on that last run, and he’s improved by around six lengths second-up in his last two campaigns, and that room for improvement and weight advantage make him a serious contender.
Rock (52.5kg) and Riodini (50kg) get in with light weights here but they only drop 3kg and 3.5kg respectively, and again, so does Star Of The Seas who clearly rated higher and has upside based on his peak pattern.
Who will win the Epsom Handicap in 2020?
I have it down to Star Of The Seas or Yulong Prince – and both are trained by Chris Waller who has dominated these Randwick mile events for quite some time now.
Both runners come out of the inside gates (1 & 2) and it wouldn’t surprise to see both settle just off the speed, two to three pairs back.
I really can’t split the pair but think the bookmakers have completely missed Yulong Prince as he’s gone up the very attractive odds of $31.
Star Of The Seas is around the $6 mark and this enables us to be able to back to good chances and still come out on top if one is successful.