The Mandarin’s Epsom Downs Racecard for Saturday 4th June 2022

Cazoo Handicap 2.00
Blue Trail
In a competitive opener, Charlie Appleby’s Blue Trail might be worth keeping on side as he tackles this 10 furlong trip for the first time. Outpaced at Sandown Park back in April in the Esher Cup, he stayed on for a creditable enough third spot, but gave notice that this step up in trip should suit. More to come returned from a short break, and sure to go close

Princess Elizabeth Stakes (Group 3) (Fillies & Mares) 2.35
Mrs Fitzherbert (nb)
An interesting rematch between Bashrikova and Mrs Fitzherbert, with preference for Hugo Palmer’s charge. The pair clashed at Goodwood in a Listed contest with the selection getting the upper hand in the final furlong, and there seems no reason that those placings should be reversed here. That said, William Haggas has his string in fine fettle so a good duel is in store. Mrs Fitzherbert to score in the first of the black type races on Derby Day

Cazoo Diomed Stakes (Group 3) 3.10
Modern News (nap)
Charlie Appleby holds the key to this Group 3 contest with Modern News. An easy enough winner of the Listed Royal Windsor Stakes last month, he lines up here in search of the hat-trick, and is hard to oppose from the in-form Moulton Paddocks yard

Simpex Express ‘Dash’ Handicap 3.45
Live In The Dream
The fastest five furlong sprint anywhere is here at Epsom Downs. It’s a straight blitz downhill, and suits front runners, so expect to see Live In The Dream bolt out of the stalls and lay down his claim to this valuable handicap. A high draw in big fields gives a slight advantage over this speedsters track and trip, and Live In The Dream makes plenty of appeal

Cazoo Derby (Group 1) 4.30
Stone Age
A terrific renewal in store, with plenty of likely types for this historic race. Desert Crown looked a tremendous prospect when storming clear in the Dante at York last month, and Nations Pride from Charlie Appleby’s in-form yard has been supplemented at a cost of £75,000 so has to be taken seriously. The vote, however, goes to Aidan O’Brien’s Stone Age, runner-up in the Criterium de Saint-Cloud as a juvenile last year. He’s trained on since then, and looks a straight up type that should do well on this particular track. The choice of Ryan Moore, who can follow in his sire’s footsteps to land the feature

World Pool Northern Dancer Handicap 5.15
Solent Gateway
Hugo Palmer’s progressive gelding can put a no show in the Chester Cup behind him to score in this handicap over the Derby course. He has course form around here which counts for plenty, so with the excellent Harry Davies claiming a useful 5lb, sure to be involved. Each way claims at the very least

JRA Tokyo Trophy Handicap 5.50
Commanche Falls
Just the sort of event that trainer Michael Dods excels in, a full on blast from the get-go. The five year old Lethal Force gelding won four times last season, and can go one better than his runners-up spot at Doncaster on his seasonal reappearance. Likely to be in the thick of things again, and super each way value

The Mandarin

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