Epsom preview: Urban Icon the Surrey Stakes selectionPublished on: May 30, 2019Author: David Metcalf
Having shaped well in both his starts this season, Urban Icon looks decent value at 9/2 with 888Sport to land the Listed 7f Surrey Stakes for three-year-olds at Epsom on Friday (17:15) now eased in grade.
This Richard Hannon trained son of Cityscape won both his starts as a juvenile in impressive fashion, scoring by an aggregate of 3 1/2 lengths.
He then ran very well on return to action in the Group 3 Greenham Stakes over 7f at Newbury in April when showing plenty of pace to chase the leaders, before keeping on at the one pace to be beaten 3 1/2 lengths into third behind Mohaather.
Urban Icon finished three-quarters of a length in front of the fourth home Hello Youmzain. That one has since lower the colours of John Gosden’s hitherto unbeaten and very exciting colt Calyx in the Group 2 Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock.
It gives the form a solid look and Urban Icon has since run as well as could be expected in Group 1 company when eighth of 19 to Magna Grecia in the first Classic of the season, the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.
After racing close up, he got outpaced two from home before keeping on at one pace again to be beaten 6 1/2 lengths. Urban Icon also had some very useful sorts in-behind.
The form of that race reads very well in relation to this lower grade affair, and the drop back to 7f looks sure to play to his strengths.
Other pluses are that Urban Icon has the services of the in-form Tom Marquand, who has partnered him to both career successes, in the saddle and underfoot conditions to suit – so everything looks in place for a huge run.
Space Blues feared, Sunday Star appeals each-way
The Charlie Appleby trained Space Blues looks a big danger having won a hot handicap at York last time out in fine style under top weight.
This three-year-old son of Dubawi is a promising sort and looks a pattern performer in waiting making, judged by his impressive display on the Knavesmire.
However, at odds of 13/8 with Ladbrokes, he looks plenty short enough now stepped up in class and worth taking on.
Of those at bigger odds, Sunday Star appeals each-way at 33/1 with Betfair given that she has some smart form in the book.
This Ed Walker trained daughter of Kodiac improved in each of her four runs as a juvenile, and has the size and scope to suggest she can keep going on progressing as a three-year-old.
After running really well on her second start when a head runner-up to Glance at Goodwood, Sunday Star opened her account at Newmarket when running on strongly to beat Epsom Oaks contender Maqsad by 1 3/4 lengths.
Connections decided to pitch her into Group 3 company on the back of that, and she ran really well when a length third to Mot Juste in the Oh So Sharp Stakes.
It’s fair to say that Sunday Star ran well below expectations on return at action in the Group 3 Nell Gwyn at Newmarket, but she took a step back in the right direction last time out when fourth in a Listed contest at York.
If building on that, she looks capable of outrunning her odds and making her presence felt in this similar grade affair.
Greenside fancied to follow-up
Greenside scored in terrific style last time out and looks worth siding with at 6/1 with Paddy Power to make light of a 4lb rise in the weights to follow-up in the Investec Mile Handicap (14:35).
This Henry Candy trained eight-year-old was an unlucky loser in the Whitsun Cup at Sandown two years ago when getting badly hampered at the start, before flying home late to go down by a length to Laidback Romeo.
The son of Dubawi then gained revenge on that rival next time up at the same venue when running on strongly to score by 1 1/4 lengths off a mark of 94.
Greenside also ran well at Kempton last term when fourth to subsequent Lincoln Handicap winner Auxerre off the same rating and has looked as good as ever in two starts this season.
After finishing an eye-catching fourth of 26 to Chatez at Newbury, Greenside came from off the pace before showing a smart turn of foot to shoot clear in the last 150 yards and win going away by 1 3/4 lengths at Windsor.
It was a most authoritative display and his revised rating of 94 is the same as when previously successful, so that Greenside every chance from a handicapping perspective
There are plenty of dangers in a wide-open contest, but History Writer makes more appeal than most and can be backed at 8/1 with Paddy Power.
This David Menuisier trained four-year-old shaped quite nicely on seasonal reappearance when seventh of 26 to Chatez in the race at Newbury where Greenside finished fourth and has since run very well to finish third in the Whitsun Cup at Sandown – so appears to be building up to a big performance.
Borodin weighted to go wellt
In the 1m 2f Investec Wealth & Investment Handicap (15:45), Borodin looks cracking each-way value at 11/1 with BetVictor.
This Richard Fahey trained four-year-old won twice at Thirsk last year and has run really well in two hot handicaps this season.
After finishing a highly promising keeping on 2 1/2 lengths third of 26 to Chatez over a mile at Newbury, the son of High Chaparral got hampered at a crucial stage when mounting a challenge before staying on to be beaten just 1 1/2 lengths into fourth behind Hayadh in the Thirsk Hunt Cup over the same trip.
Both those efforts suggest Borodin is well worth a try over the extra two furlong trip of this and he is able to race off an unchanged rating of 91. That looks exploitable, especially if the fitting of the first time cheekpieces have the desired effect.
The yard has also been firmly amongst the winners of late, so Borodin has more going for him than his odds suggest in a race ion which a case can be made for many.