Chris Dixon's Sunday selection box: It's Chico time at Epsom

By Chris Dixon
Sun 30 Sep 2018

After an excellent Saturday afternoon of racing around Britain it is back to basics at Epsom and Musselburgh on Sunday afternoon.

It’s the final meeting of the season at the home of the Derby and yesterday’s racing has certainly got me thinking of next year’s Classics.

That subject will be something I continue to ponder over the closing weeks of the Flat season with plenty more high-quality action to come but onto today’s racing and I have four selections from the two meetings that are live on Racing UK.

3.35 Epsom: Juanito Chico at 3-1

Watch how Juanito Chico won at Epsom last year

Juanito Chico has not performed up to his best in four starts so far this season but there were signs of a revival after three months off on his first start for Stuart Williams at Sandown last time.

Although he failed to fire here at the Derby meeting, when he was too keen to post and in the race on conditions that were probably too testing, Juanito Chico seems well suited by this track with his previous visits yielding a win and a close second place finish.

The return to Epsom therefore looks significant and with a likely strong pace giving him every chance of relaxing he looks to have an excellent chance off what has become an attractive looking mark.

3.45 Musselburgh: Ocelot at 3-1

Rasheeq shaped well when arguably unlucky not to win last week at Ayr and is undeniably well treated, but he seems to save his best for soft ground and under today’s conditions I prefer the claims of Ocelot.

Robert Cowell’s filly has largely held her form well this season and shaped nicely at Sandown last time when third behind a well handicapped winner.

A 1lb drop in the weights for that effort seems generous and she’s now just 1lb higher than for her last success.

Her stable rarely send runners this far north but have a 31 per cent strike rate when doing so in recent times and the booking of Danny Tudhope, who has got a good tune out of her on both occasions he’s ridden this filly is a plus.

4.10 Epsom: Dourado at 6-1

Dourado in winning form at Epsom

Not too many of these appeal as being especially well handicapped so a chance is taken on Dourado returning to his best at a track where he has won twice previously.

The worry is that his past two efforts have also been at this venue and he hasn’t run up to his best but he wasn’t disgraced last time and he looks well treated on his early season efforts.

His close second to the improving Sir Titan at Goodwood and good fourth at Newbury read well in the context of this race and he meets one of his main rivals, Glenn Coco, on better terms than when he beat that horse in a tight finish on the all-weather back in November of last year.

He should be able to adopt a good early position from stall 1 in a race that should be run at a decent tempo while the 3lb claim of Jason Watson is an obvious positive.

Old rival Glenn Coco is feared most as he appeals as the type who may pull out a bit more for the presence of Silvestre De Sousa in the saddle.

5.15 Epsom: Canford’s Joy at 9-2

Canford’s Joy has struggled in four starts so far this season but as a consequence his mark has tumbled 13lb and he may find a switch of stable sparking a revival.

Now in the care of the in-form yard of Amy Murphy he would ideally prefer softer ground to judge by his best form but conditions are at least a shade easier than they have been on his four starts so far this term.

The likely strong early pace should suit and the booking of De Sousa looks like a sign of intent from new connections.

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