The Epsom Handicap Preview
Previews, Reviews, Tips
11 October, 2023
The Epsom Handicap Preview
The Epsom at Royal Randwick is the feature for Sydney’s metropolitan card on Saturday. It is a handicap over the mile with a field of 11 to compete.
Top Ranked has been good since moving to the southern Hemisphere and most recently beat Purple Sector and Cross Talk in the Group 3 Bill Richie over 1400m at Randwick in what was a dominant display. Drops in weight and has won over 1600m in the United Kingdom six times and has been in the placings another three. Likes the sting out of the ground which is a positive and has placed second up twice before. Draws to sit more positive and one off the rail and should be hard to beat if he can replicate that first up run.
Converge has been average since returning this preparation. Second up last time in he made absolutely no ground, and he was very plain first up also. Barrier 1 is unappealing and will be tricky for him to get a run. Don’t recommend.
Ellsberg is ultra-consistent and has ran well both first and second up. Back to a mile where he has been successful in the past and could possibly find his best here. Draws well to find the lead and will give them something to chase down with the other pace coming from out wide. A value place chance in this if he can find his best.
Nimalee was good last time out winning the Golden Pendant at Rosehill over 1400m. Has ran well over the 1600m at Randwick in the past and should slot in just off the speed from that wide draw if ridden more positively again. Should finish in the top half of the field here.
Icebath is the class horse of the race after finishing strongly behind Anamoe last start and prior to that was very good behind Zaaki. Barrier 7 suits her racing pattern and will be benefited by a positive tempo up front. Has only been out of the placings once at this track and trip and the way this race sets up should be very hard to beat. On top hope for me.
Fangirl was super first up behind Anamoe but was a tad plain second up when she was flat to the line from the 100m. Does like a soft track, however, is hit and miss over the mile. Will have her chance to run them down late but will need to improve to be a chance to run in the placings here.
Kiku was super winning first up and does boast a very impressive second up record including last time in running 3rd behind Snapdancer, who has since become a multiple Group 1 winner. Likes the track and the distance and has raced well in Group 1 grade beforehand. Does draw wide which will make things interesting but should be able to find some cover and something to follow into the race. Place chance at odds of $6.5.
Hinged was very good behind Anamoe and Icebath last time out. Never missed the placings at the track and trip and she does love a soft track. Does draw wide though which means she might get stuck wide making things a little bit more challenging and is a class horse who should run in the placings.
Cross Talk will jump and lead as always. Was a beaten favourite last start and does draw well to be competitive here. It is a big step up in grade however and off his last two runs I think others are better and is too short in the market here.
Pippali leaves restricted grade for the first time this preparation but has been running consistently. Draws to suit her racing pattern however will need to improve to cope with the rise in grade.
War Eternal jumps dramatically in grade and has only ran twice over the trip for one placing. Hard to see him being competitive here
Icebath looks the horse to beat with Hinged and Kiku in for the minors. Top Ranked could run a race but have him in for fourth.
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