Epsom Placepot: Friday May 31

Frankie Dettori returns to action on Oaks day at Epsom.

Timeform's Matt Gardner tackles the Placepot on Oaks day at Epsom...

"Liber Nauticus created a big impression when scoring on debut at Goodwood last season and, although she only landed the Musidora by a length and a half, she always looked in control..."

13:35 - The opening race on Epsom's card sees the return to the saddle of the mighty Frankie Dettori and, though his supreme riding ability could see Beatrice Aurore take the win, we're going to side with Sentaril and Thistle Bird in the Placepot. The first mentioned looked unlucky in defeat on her seasonal return at Goodwood, having to wait for a gap and conceding first run to eventual winner Burke's Rock, but she did more than enough to suggest that she retains all of her ability and seems sure to go close. Thistle Bird boasts the strongest form in this field and, for all that she may be a little quirky, she is smart on her day and ought to come on for her reappearance, where she raced to freely prior to finishing third. 

14:10 - Three non-runners haven't made matters any simpler in this leg, with it being possible to make a case for the whole field, so we're going to need three on side. Blue Surf progressed well last term and represents the red-hot yard of Amanda Perrett, so he goes in alongside Fattsota, who had his limitations exposed in a Group 3 on his return to the UK but now competes at a more realistic level and could give Dettori a winner. Resurge has a good record at this track, hitting the mark on three occasions over C&D, and he looks competitively handicapped of ready to go on his return to action. 

14:45 - Fantastic Moon's withdrawal leaves us with just the two places to aim at but, with slight doubts for one reason or another about the likes of Penitent, Gabrial, Tales Of Grimm and Sri Putra, we're quite happy to bank on Producer. The four-year-old has an excellent record here, unbeaten in four visits, and he looked better than ever when beating subsequent Lockinge third Aljamaaheer in a listed race at Leicester last month. 

15:20 - Another competitive affair requires three selections, namely Mister Music, Maverik and Vainglory, in the hope of making it through. The first mentioned has slipped to a workable mark after a few below-par efforts but he has scored at this venue in the past and certainly warrants respect given his powerful connections, whilst Maverik's style of racing could be suited to this track and there doesn't look to be an abundance of competition for the lead. Vainglory isn't the easiest to win with but he makes the frame more often than not, including on three occasions in this very race, and he shaped better than the bare result when last seen at Chester. 

16:00 - Both Secret Gesture and Moth have to be respected but, if Liber Nauticus makes the improvement she is expected to, she could take some stopping in the main race of the day. The filly created a big impression when scoring on debut at Goodwood last season and, although she only landed the Musidora by a length and a half, she always looked in control. The step up in trip will suit and the fact that Sir Michael Stoute started her career at Goodwood suggests that connections hold no fears of her failing to handle this idiosyncratic track. 

16:45 - Hasopop and Here Comes When boast the strongest form in the final leg but they both seem to be progressing, so it looks a straight battle between the pair. We're going to rely upon the Andrew Balding-trained Here Comes When to see us across the line, as he was most impressive when scoring at Chester last time and the suspicion is that he remains open to further improvement. 

Selections: 
13:35 - 5, 7
14:10 - 1, 3, 6
14:45 - 5
15:20 - 3, 6, 11
16:00 - 3
16:45 - 5
= 18 lines

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