The Investec Oaks is the feature race of day one of the Investec Derby Festival.
Run over a mile and a half, the fillies' classic has been won by some true greats of the game including Ouija Board, Snow Fairy, Taghrooda, User Friendly, Oh So Sharp, Alexandrova and Minding. This year's event looks another decent renewal with 10 fillies lining up for the Group One event. The other feature race on the card is the Group One Investec Coronation Cup which was won last year by Postponed.
Here are Danny Archer's selections for Investec Oaks day...
2:00: Epsom - De Bruyne Horse 7/4.
Looked a horse to keep on the right side of when readily accounting for his rivals over six furlongs at Ripon and whilst Epsom is a different test, that was a very exciting performance and he enters the could be anything category. He is most certainly one to watch.
2:35: Epsom - Remarkable 4/1 Each Way (1/4) and Sixties Groove 9/1 Each Way.
Remarkable was hampered at the start of the Victoria Cup at Ascot last time9 and never really recovered from that incident. However, he did stay on well in the closing stages and he had to race on the wide outside on that occasion which was also against him so he can be forgiven for that run. He had earlier ran a cracker to finish second in the Balmoral Handicap and there might just be a little more improvement in him.
Sixties Groove has the one thing I always look for in races at Epsom and that is course form. Winner of the Tadworth Handicap in July 2016, he finished last season with a comfortable half-length victory at Kempton in November on the All-Weather. That looked a pretty decent race and he looks cracking each-way value here with course form a massive bonus.
3:10: Epsom - Highland Reel 15/8 and US Army Ranger 14/1 Each Way.
This looks an absolutely superb and interesting edition of the Group One Coronation Cup which I think can go to Aidan O'Brien. He has the warm favourite Highland Reel, a globetrotting superstar who plundered the Breeders' Cup Turf in November under a fine Seamie Heffernan ride before finishing second in the Hong Kong Vase in December. The ground went against him in Meydan on his latest start and he will absolutely bounce off the quicker ground expected at Epsom. I fancy him strongly to do the business under Moore.
At a bigger price, I'm keen to give US Army Ranger one more chance. He is evidently not the most straightforward of horses and has endured injury problems. It was disappointing that he was narrowly beaten in the Group Three Ormonde Stakes at Chester last time but I feel that performance did show he retained the ability which saw him finish second in last year's Derby. There could be even more to come from him now and I'm willing to have a dabble at bigger prices.
3:45: Epsom - Brorocco 9/2 Each Way (1/4) and Fidaawy 8/1 Each Way.
The Andrew Balding-trained Brorocco won the City and Suburban over course and distance at Epsom in April before finishing second to the talented Khairaat at Chester last time out. That looks strong form and he is worth supporting at a track he enjoys.
Fidaawy is a typical Sir Michael Stoute improver who stayed on nicely to land the spoils at Doncaster last time. He races off a career high-mark of 98 but he looks to be improving steadily with racing and if handling the track should go close in this.
4:30: Epsom - Rhododendron 10/11 NAP and Alluringly 25/1 Each Way.
The Oaks is a small but select field this year and the emphasis is most certainly on quality not quantity. However, I think the other nine fillies in this year's renewal will have it all to do to get anywhere close to the well-backed favourite Rhododendron.
Unlucky in the 2000 Guineas when denied a clear run before staying on powerfully to finish second on that occasion, it was pleasing to see the winner that day, Winter win so easily at the Curragh last Sunday to complete the British-Irish Guineas double which gives the form a strong look.
Winner of the Fillies' Mile at Newmarket last year, there is a slightly worry about whether she will get the trip but her father Galileo excelled over a mile and a half and she is a sister to Just Gorgeous that won over this trip. I'm really confident that she will win this event. I think she's the best horse in the race and has a touch of real quality. I will be very disappointed if she is beaten.
At a bigger price, I do also think her stablemate Alluringly is overpriced. Second in the Cheshire Oaks at Chester last time, she looked like she was coming to really challenge another of Friday's rivals, Enable in that event but John Gosden's charge found a bit more. The slight increase in distance is in her favour and I just think she could prove a bit better on the back of that experience in this event.
5:15: Epsom - Sutter County 15/8.
Game winner at Goodwood last time to score by half a length and that looks a strong piece of form. This ultra consistent sort likes this trip and should handle the track.
5:50: Epsom - Black Trilby 7/2 and Atteq 12/1 Each Way.
Clive Cox's charge was second at Leicester last time when well fancied to run well. He wears a hood on this occasion and if settling slightly better, he is a possible. Atteq is running very well currently and was a facile seven length winner at Beverley in April.
He was then a neck second at Musselburgh last time and that race might have just come too soon for him. He is raised to a career high mark of 81 but I think he could outrun his big odds.
4.3/1 Win Double
3:10: Epsom - Highland Reel
4:30: Epsom - Rhododendron