5.15 Epsom: Class 2 Handicap, 1m 4f
A 19 runner strong Handicap – of course it is ultra competitive! That says I do really struggle to see anything obvious and believe this is as open as it gets. A massive upset wouldn’t be a surprise. If I’d have to tip the likeliest winner it’d be Jakey, who has the right credentials to go close.
But there is better value to find in this field: 40/1 long-shot Pack Leader is the one I have my eyes on. Yes, he’s even a long-shot in my book, though probably more like a 20/1 chance. I felt he improved physically from three to four, evident on his seasonal reappearance at Kempton last month. He looked rusty and not very sharp that day, however big and strong, and should come on for the run.
Pack Leader has already form at Epsom, when third here last year. He also proved stamina over 12 furlongs in the past, when runner-up at Salisbury in a Handicap off his current mark. His strike rate is worrying, he won only single race to date – though in fairness that was a very good maiden at Goodwood last June – this form works out really well, indeed!
I can see him able to outrun his price given that track and trip should suit perfectly plus the possibility of improvement from his seasonal debut run.
Pack Leader @ 40/1 StanJames – 5pts Win