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Matt Chapman exclusive: The Irish will win the Epsom Oaks – but not with the favourite Marvellous

A Classic weekend coming up and I'm all over it. Yeeehaaa!

by Matt Chapman | June 5, 2014

It’s Epsom Classic time on Friday with the Investec Oaks and I’m hoping to bag some cash. You hear me Paddy?

The last three winners have been 20-1 chances so don’t worry about looking at those who seemingly have less of a chance than the obvious. Ballydoyle’s Marvellous is miles clear on ratings and her 1,000 Guineas class may pull her through. But she’s not for me.

I fancy another Irish challenger TARFASHA (4pm) in what is a wide-open race. Trainer Dermot Weld has a great line on Marvellous from other horses in his stable. The lightly-raced daughter of Teofilo has only raced up to 1m 2f so far but should get the Oaks trip of 1m 4f in a race where Paddy is paying the first 4 home.

She was impressive in a Group 3 last time, and prior to that had taken on decent horses as a youngster. I think she will run a big one.

The card kicks off with the Princess Elizabeth Stakes at 1.35pm , and both horses who stand out on ratings – Just the Judge and Thistle Bird – flopped on their seasonal debuts.


Perfect trip

Despite that, I am taking Roger Charlton’s THISTLE BIRD (1.35pm)  to bounce back, as she traveled well at York until fading. I have never thought she was best at 1m2f, and the drop back in distance will be perfect.

SENNOCKIAN STAR (2.10pm) could be the answer to a tough-looking 1m 2f handicap. The course and distance winner ran a shocker last time but I’ll overlook that and have a few quid on each-way. He likes to race up with the pace has a great chance to do that from stall one.

Epsom Oaks 4 places

Buzzed up

GREGORIAN (2.45pm) won this race last year and it’s hard not to think that he’s been buzzed up for this on his seasonal debut as the reigning champion.

A former race winner DANCE AND DANCE (3.20pm) also takes his chance in the Mile Handicap and won this in 2011 on good off a mark of 97.

He races off 91 on Friday. Despite being an eight-year-old he retains his ability and was just a short-head second to Tenor at Newmarket last time.

Best of luck – and let’s hope we smash Paddy where it hurts him most – ahead of the big one – the Epsom Derby on Saturday. Yeeehaaa!

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