Epsom Oaks 2022: The Best Tips Ahead Of Friday’s Big Day Of Racing

Betfred's Matt Hulmes gives us his best tips as the fillies headline the Oaks on Friday at Epsom
17:05, 02 Jun 2022

It’s a Platinum Jubilee classic weekend with the Derby to look forward to on Saturday, but first of all it’s the turn of the fillies in the Oaks on Friday at Epsom.

2.35 EPSOM - CORAZON ESPINADO

The unique nature of Epsom, with its downhill run and camber, means a horse who performs well here is worth a few pounds in the handicap. Not many horses have more experience around this track than the locally trained CORAZON ESPINADO and he is taken to at least hit the frame in the mile handicap.

His course form figures read 1723121812, only twice missing the frame in ten starts, one of those efforts was over ten furlongs, and the other over seven furlongs. His course and distance figures make better reading at 1231 including this corresponding race twelve months ago. He returns just 1lb higher having won that by three and a half lengths and will come on for his recent return when well beaten at Kempton. That was his first run since New Year’s Eve. Silvestre De Sousa is booked, who won on him here back in 2018 and the yard had an easy winner earlier in the week signalling their fair form. His draw in 16 is the only drawback, but at around 12/1 and extra places each way on offer, he looks like a solid play. 

The four-timer seeking Excel Power and recent Lingfield scorer Totally Charming could still be improving and are obvious dangers but neither have raced here before. 

Revich ran well at Chester and won on his only course start but he’s 3lb higher than he has ever won off previously. 

Betfred 2.35 EPSOM race odds*

3.10 EPSOM – MANOBO

The first group 1 of the weekend is the Coronation Cup with Pyledriver back to defend his crown. That arguably wasn’t the hottest renewal as he beat the slightly erratic Al Aasy who had every opportunity to go past. Since then, Pyledriver can be excused for a poor run in Saudi and ran well in Meydan to be a close fourth in the Sheema Classic with Hukum less than a length back in seventh. 

He made all in this race last year but looks set to have competition on that score with Living Legend in opposition, while High Definition showed his best form for over a year under forcing tactics at the Curragh a fortnight ago. That saw him raised to a mark of 119, just 1lb shy of Pyledriver, but I’m taking MANOBO to improve past them both. 

After pulling hard in the Dubai Gold Cup, he just didn’t have enough to repel the Japanese winner in Meydan for his first taste of defeat. The drop back in trip off what could be a decent pace looks ideal as he has a good change of gear. This is just his seventh start, he handles all types of ground and looks uncomplicated. With a decent tow into the contest, he can sweep by to score a first success at the top level.

Betfred 3.10 EPSOM Race Odds*

4.30 EPSOM – TRANQUIL LADY

John Gosden and Aidan O’Brien have won the last eight runnings of the Oaks between them, 5-3 in favour of the Irishman, and they train the six of the eleven strong field again. Only two of those however were market leaders and we have a short-priced favourite in Emily Upjohn. 

She has won her last two starts including the Musidora at York by an aggregate of fifteen lengths and has been likened to the great Enable in parts. The trainer also mentioned her in the same breath as his 2014 heroine Taghrooda, who went on to King George success. Emily Upjohn is top rated in the field, but not by much and looks too short in the betting for me. 

The favourite is just 1lb superior to dual Guineas placed Tuesday, one of four for Aidan O’Brien and the mount of Ryan Moore. Tuesday is a full sister to Oaks winner Minding but Moore has only been on board two of the last five Coolmore winners, so don’t overlook Concert Hall, the mount of Seamie Heffernan who stayed on strongly over a mile at The Curragh. She is also out of an Oaks winner in Was, the 2010 scorer who was also ridden by Heffernan. 

Nashwa also represents John and Thady Gosden and this would be some story if she provides Hollie Doyle with a first classic success as she continues to smash through the glass ceilings of horse racing, although I do think she has a big stamina question to answer.

None of those above would be surprise winners, and I must throw Cheshire Oaks winner Thoughts Of June into the mix for Aidan O’Brien. She beat Subsequent Group 1 winner Above The Curve on the Roodee, appreciating the step up in trip while the luckless Moon De Vega suffered a shocking passage back in fourth despite travelling very well and never seeing daylight. She could outrun her big price and hit the frame, but I think a different O’Brien could be lifting this trophy this afternoon. 

Joseph O’Brien's TRANQUIL LADY was mightily impressive in the Blue Wind Stakes at Naas four weeks ago. She chased the favourite who struck for home three out and soon passed her before setting sail for victory. She seemed to quicken twice that day and there were almost ten lengths back to the third. Tom Marquand was booked early to ride, she is a half-sister to connections’ three-time group 1 winner State Of Rest, but has a stronger stamina influence being by Australia. I think she is massively overpriced at around 14/1.

Betfred 4.30 EPSOM Race Odds*

*18+ | BeGambleAware

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