For many, the Epsom meeting at the start of June is all about the Derby; that classic race that has a history stretching back over 200 years. Serious racegoers will, however, know that Saturday’s card at Epsom Downs features seven renewals in total while, the meeting itself actually gets underway a day earlier.
Friday is Ladies Day at Epsom and it also draws a huge crowd on a day where some top class flat racing is on show with two very important Grade Ones.
Under Starter’s Orders
It all starts at 2.00pm on Friday June 2 with the Investec Woodcote Stakes, a six furlong sprint for two year olds. It’s another historic event that was first held at this meeting back in 1807 and was taken out last year by the 5/2 joint favourite Legendary Lunch.
After a quick turnaround, The Investec Mile gets underway at 2.35pm, a handicap race which is swiftly followed by the first of the big events.
Group One Action
The Coronation Cup is the first of two main highlights for racegoers on Ladies Day, it was first run in 1902 and was inaugurated to commemorate the crowning of King Edward VII. This is run over the same length as the Derby itself and ante post betting markets are already open.
Unibet have Highland Reel as the favourite here at 6/4 ahead of the 10/3 shot Jack Hobbs. It is, however, an open field with a big declaration so this may be a good time to find some excellent ante-post value.
3.45pm is the start time for the Investec Wealth and Investment Stakes, a handicap event sandwiched between the two Grade Ones. It will attract some interest from a betting point of view but this is very much a prelude to the Investec Oaks, the second Group One from Friday’s card.
Another race at the classic distance of one mile, four furlongs and ten yards, this dates right back to 1779 and is, therefore, one year older than the Derby itself. Early prices from Unibet show Rhododendron as the ante-post favorite at 13/8 with Enable close behind at 7/2.
Once again, a big early field has been declared some way ahead of the event so keep checking the news feeds to get news of any late withdrawals.
There are still two races to go on Ladies Day, starting with a listed event, the Investec Surrey Stakes at 5.15pm. Gold Land was a winner here for Brian Meehan in 2016 in this renewal for three-year-olds.
Completing the action is the Investec Specialist Bank Stakes which goes off at 5.50pm. The last of seven races completes an excellent day’s racing and while Friday doesn’t hold a classic such as the Derby, there are those two very important grade one renewals and Ladies Day acts as a perfect prelude to the main event.
To get involved, head along to Epsom or just relax at home and catch some top class horse racing in early June.