A talented field of milers take to the track on Saturday at Royal Randwick in Sydney’s Epsom Handicap 2016, tips and the updated betting odds on the classic found below.
Running as Randwick Race 7 at 4:00pm (AEST) as the second of three elite levels on the card, this season’s $1 million Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) features 13 hopefuls.
Favourite in the latest Epsom Handicap odds at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $5.50 to hand trainer John O’Shea his second win after his success with Racing to Win (2006) a decade ago is the in-form Hauraki.
Drawn gate 10, which has produced two of the past three winners, the Reset gelding has come back in top form winning the Tramway first-up before the brave second to Winx in the George Main at this track / distance a fortnight ago.
Third-up the five-year-old should be peaking and he has plenty of strong Group 1 form and Randwick experience to suggest he can get the job done for the punters.
The bookies have a logjam of other Epsom Handicap contenders battling it out near the top end of the markets however with the big dangers shaping up as the Darren Weir-trained Makybe Diva Stakes winner Palentino ($6), McCreery ($6) out to hand trainer Chris Waller with his fourth consecutive win in the race and the market mover Fabrizio for seven-time Epsom winning trainer Gai Waterhouse.
So will the favourite backers have money to bet on the Turnbull Stakes Day card on Sunday post-Epsom or is there an upset on the cards from the likes of the rails-drawn Happy Clapper ($9) who is set to peak third-up, Randwick Guineas winner Le Romain ($12) coming off three straight seconds this campaign or track specialist Sons Of John ($16)?
Earlier in the week we published our exclusive 2016 Epsom Handicap Form Guide & Betting Preview and based on the facts and stats uncovered there below are our tips on the mile classic.
#8 Mackintosh ($11)
Sydney’s best Chris Waller has won the past three editions of this race and saddles-up four chances in 2016 including this in-form four-year-old. He is the right age for a win as 20 of the past 29 Epsom winners saluted as a 4YO (including six of the past seven) and last start winners also have the recent advantage. This Pins gelding won the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1300m) first-up last time out and will relish getting up to a mile having winning form up to 2200m. Winx (2015) did the double last year and Mackintosh – who boasts this year’s highest win rate (67%) – is consistent enough to do it again on a nice 52kg lightweight from barrier 2.
#3 Le Romain ($12)
Kris Lees’ Hard Spun gelding is another gun four-year-old out to keep the record going for this age group. He won over the track / distance in the Group 1 Randwick Guineas last prep and comes off three straight seconds this campaign including behind Hauraki two back in the Tramway at Randwick. Lead-up run was the Cameron Handicap second at Newcastle carrying 59kg and drops to 55.5kg here in gate three. Hugh Bowman is aboard and he saluted on Winx 12 months ago. He’s got the killer place rate (91%) and strong Randwick form (5-2-3-0) and is a big hope from the barrier.
#7 Sons Of John ($16)
Good price offered for this John Thompson-trained, Glen Boss-ridden six-year-old out to stop the younger gallopers. He won the Group 3 Bill Ritchie (1400m) here a fortnight back and loves the track (6-3-0-1). Mile form isn’t as solid, but on 53kg with the race’s three-time winning hoop aboard has to be considered in an open edition of the Epsom.
Whether you’re backing or sacking our insider Epsom Handicap 2016 tips, back your favourites online at the right price now through Ladbrokes.com.au – home of Odds Boost (T&Cs apply).