Investec Derby Festival: Friday’s tips for Epsom


David Metcalf | June 2, 2016

Haalick has plenty going for him in Surrey Stakes

Haalick ran a blinder when runner-up last time out and can go one better to get back to winning ways in the Surrey Stakes on the opening day of the Investec Derby Festival at Epsom (17.15).

The Roger Varian trained colt has won two of his six starts, and in the last of those looked a smart performer in the making when landing a Listed contest at Lingfield on seasonal reappearance.

Haalick was then desperately unlucky not to follow-up when third in a conditions contest at the same venue when encountering all sorts of trouble in-running, and there was lots to like about his latest run at Goodwood when second of 14 in a very competitive handicap under top weight of 9st 7lb.

Huge run against progressive rival

After being steadied at the start and held-up in the latter, the three-year-old came with a storming run inside the final furlong to be gaining all the way to the line and beaten just 1/2 a length by Oh This Is Us.

The winner is an ultra-progressive sort who is now unbeaten in three runs this season, and it was a huge run by Haalick in attempting to give him 18lb.

Judged on that effort Haalick needs keeping firmly onside, and this looks a nice opening for him to notch a second Listed success of the season.

Sennockian Star weighted to go well

Sennockian Star has become dangerously well-treated and looks decent each-way value in the 1m 2f handicap (14.35).

The Mark Johnston trained gelding is course and distance winner, and was last successful at Chester 12 months ago when beating Spirit Of The Law by 1 3/4 lengths off a mark of 93.

Sennockian Star went on to finish a cracking second of 13 to Mahsoob in the Wolferton Handicap at Royal Ascot off 98 and was also far from disgraced when a 3 1/4 length seventh of 16 to Mount Logan at Goodwood off 100.

Those races represent strong form, and the six-year-old is now able to race off a reduced rating of 90.

It gives Sennockian Star a big chance from a handicapping perspective, and although he has failed to trouble the judge in three starts this season the son of Rock Of Gibraltar usually needs a few runs to put him straight and should now be spot on to do himself justice.

Epsom selections:

14.00: Sea Of Snow
14.35: Sennockian Star (E/W)
15.10: Decorated Knight
15.45: Alcatraz
16.30: Somehow (NB)
17.15: Haalick (NAP)
17.50: Reputation


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