Epsom Investec Dash Preview
Duke Of Firenze showed his liking for a downhill five furlongs when running out a narrow winner at Goodwood at the start of May. He ran well without ever quite landing a blow at York last time but looks to have got in here with a nice weight.
La Fortunata renews rivalry with Ajjaad who touched her off in the final stride at the April meeting. Mike Murphy’s mare has been placed on all five previous visits to the course and is a notoriously fast starter. She is a pound better off for that short head defeat and the booking of the trainer’s namesake takes off a further 5lbs.
Ajjaad was held up from a wide draw that day and stayed on bravely to snatch the race on the line. He seems to be running better than ever at the age of seven and could be one to watch for late on. Swiss Cross was not far behind them that day but has run moderately in two subsequent starts.
Long Awaited has been well backed in the ante-post betting for this race and makes his seasonal debut for David Barron. He was only thirteenth behind Stone Of Folca in this race last year but went on to win over course and distance at the August meeting. He finished his campaign with two solid efforts at Haydock and the stable are in good form. The booking of Richard Hughes could also be significant.
Captain Dunne is also among the market leaders after a good second at Chester. He is a regular fixture at this meeting and won the Dash in 2011 having been runner-up in 2009. It seems safe to assume that Tim Easterby has targeted this race and a big run is anticipated. Easterby also saddles Confessional who can be forgiven his last run when he received a hefty bump early on and lost all chance. He has some very smart form in Group races and was an unlucky fifth here 12 months ago.
David O’Meara has enjoyed a successful start to the season and he is represented by the in-form Smoothtalkinrascal, a recent winner at York.