Rory Delargy heads to Epsom's final meeting of the year for today's best bets...
"A high draw should enable Ross Atkinson to settle Aloha where he wants her, and enable him to avoid the likely scrimmaging towards the inside. With her light campaign meaning that she's more likely to be at her peak than many of her rivals today, she looks certain to make a good fist of things."
You can't keep an Aussie down, I'm told, and those pesky Antipodeans rarely walk away from a sporting defeat with their tails between their legs, but always swearing revenge. Hopefully that will also apply to the aptly-names Aussie Reigns when he contests the ten-furlong handicap at Epsom this afternoon (15:55), having had a solid run of form ended at Doncaster last time.
Prior to that Town Moor lapse, William Knight's gelding had strung together a series of creditable runs, winning at Windsor and Newmarket, and showing his liking for a switchback track with two solid runners-up efforts at Goodwood. All those runs came on a sound surface, and it's more than likely that softer going proved his downfall last time. With the fine weather in his favour, and a recent blip causing his odds to slide, Aussie Reigns looks a value bet to regain winning ways.
In a race likely to be dominated by the three-year-olds, his main threat looks the progressive Soryah, for whom fast ground is ideal, while it wouldn't be a huge shock to see Mark Johnston's Broughton put a pair of quiet runs behind him, either. Rather than use either as a saver, consider including the trio in exotic bets.
The younger brigade also look set to dominate the Apprentices' Derby at 16:30, with the trio of last-time-out winners at the foot of the weights all making plenty of appeal. Aloha is the most attractive proposition of the three, particularly with her apparently tricky draw looking more of a bonus on closer inspection. The first turn made over the Derby course and distance is a slight right-handed one before the field races uphill to Tattenham Corner, and horses drawn on the outer tend to find it easier to get a position. That should enable Ross Atkinson to settle Aloha where he wants her, and enable him to avoid the likely scrimmaging towards the inside. With her light campaign meaning that she's more likely to be at her peak than many of her rivals today, she looks certain to make a good fist of things.
Both at Epsom
Back Aussie Reigns @ 11.521/2 in the 15:55 (NB)
Back Aloha @ 4.84/1 in the 16:30 (NAP)