Epsom Placepot: Tuesday August 28

We're at Epsom for today's Placepot

With the Bank Holiday comedown still in effect, a low-lines approach could be best at Epsom this afternoon. Keith Melrose offers his perm...

One might have expected Mayo Lad to be a clear favourite following his easy win at Leicester last time (for which he has been raised just 4 lb)...

14:15 - A few interesting sorts in this nursery, not least Romanoff and Epsom Flyer, but there's no doubting how solid Lisa's Legacy is and she rates as a reasonable banker prospect. She's got used to the rough-and-tumble of racing in maidens, actually suffering interference when shaping a clear second-best behind a useful prospect last time. Her BHA mark looks fairly lenient even before factoring in the improvement she's bound to show one day over seven furlongs plus, so hopefully this single arrow is all we'll need in leg one.

14:50 - Last-time-out winner Clear Praise is a bigger price than might have been expected, that possibly down to the perception that he's best over five furlongs, but he's shown enough over this trip (albeit chiefly on polytrack) that stamina surely won't be an issue, especially considering he was a respectable fourth over C&D just over a year ago. Second spot goes to Baby Strange, who's been even more consistent than recent form figures imply, undone by the draw at Goodwood last time. He's something of a professional loser, but another finish in the first three will do us fine, while he showed enough over this C&D at the Derby meeting to prove his effectiveness around here.

15:25 - There's no doubt that Van Percy holds the best form on offer, but with three places currently up for grabs we can use a bit of poetic licence. Royal Skies has a good deal more experience than the favourite, and has even done it round here (third over seven furlongs last time out); with this longer trip sure to suit and there not being any obvious challenge for the lead, we can put our faith in Mark Johnston's charge.

15:55 - One might have expected Mayo Lad to be a clear favourite following his easy win at Leicester last time (for which he has been raised just 4 lb), the feeling being that, like Clear Praise, the market has cast his effectiveness at the trip into doubt. I don't feel the return to seven furlongs will be a problem though, considering the way he travelled at Leicester and the fact that he was good enough to win a six-furlong handicap at Wolverhampton not so long ago, while his consistency this season seals the deal. Lolita Lebron, rather sparked into life by the addition of a hood on recent runs, probably rates as the biggest danger and therefore also gets a spot.

16:30 - A good number of these are unexposed, but there's reason to be sceptical about the temperament of both Twelve Strings and Seven Veils, so preference is for Novirak and Jane Lachatte. Novirak is a four-year-old, but has made just five starts so far, only two of which really count it could be argued, his first two outings all about experience and his reappearance seemingly needed for fitness. He was fourth in a decent handicap at Doncaster last time, suggesting that the step up to this trip may draw more from him in the way he shaped. Our other selection Jane Lachatte has the advantage of good course form (two wins and a second from three starts), but there is some concern in that all her best efforts so far have come on softer than good and she's been a bit too free for her own good on recent starts. Even so, she's evidently in form and is well enough treated to get right into the mix today.

17:00 - The claims of If I Were A Boy are obvious, but by the same token she's likely to carry a significant slice of the pool and, with a couple of fairly attractive sorts against her in this, we can oppose her in hope of a slip-up. First in is Miss Cap Estel, who has never yet raced over this far but, being by Hernando and related to a number of winners beyond a mile, shouldn't have any problem with the trip. Second for our perm is Welsh Nayber, a consistent if perhaps not progressive three-year-old who may never have faced the undulations of Epsom but has found plenty of joy at Brighton, which provides as close to an approximant test as you're likely to get on these shores.

Selections
14:15 - 4
14:50 - 3, 5
15:25 - 5
15:55 - 2, 3
16:30 - 1, 6
17:00 - 6, 11
= 16 lines


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