Custom Cut heads 3 best bets for Epsom Derby meet day 1

While the Oaks may be the primary focus on the opening derby of the Derby festival at Epsom, there are four others races being broadcast on terrestrial TV that promise plenty of excitement.

Here are some tempting bets in three of them and a win treble on this trio could return at 157/1.

Plus, if you back a winner at odds of 4/1 or greater in any live Channel 4 race today you’ll get a free bet up to £25!*

14:00 – Odeliz 

Over half of the last 12 renewals of the Princess Elizabeth Stakes have been won by the market leader and Odeliz can get favourite backers off to a strong start at Epsom.

A lofty 25lb difference can be noted between the highest and lowest rated in this level-weighted Group 3 showdown and it seems that an effort to a level of at least 105 may be required to triumph.

Not many of these look capable of that level of form at present, but Odeliz already surpassed this mark when fourth in the Group 2 Middleton Stakes at York last time.

This return to 1m should suit as she faded slightly that day over an extended 2f and her 12-race winless streak after a string of competent performances can finally come to a deserved end.

Bold Lass may well prove the main rival after back-to-back successes, but both of these came by a neck and although there looked more in the tank, a fairly big improvement is required here.

15:10 – Custom Cut

Custom Cut has prevailed in six of his last eight starts, with the only hiccups coming on his two forages into Group 1 company.

One of these was last time when finishing behind today’s favourite Arod in the Lockinge Stakes, won by Night Of Thunder.

However, Custom Cut is worth another go here, despite a 5lb penalty, after new hold-up tactics were trialled at Newbury, instead of taking up a prominent racing position which is sure to be utilised again here.

Also in favour of Ryan Moore’s mount is that 10 of the last 12 renewals of this have been won by horses aged five or older, which is a trend that four-year-old Arod will have to overcome.

15:45 – Gratzie 

Abseil won the Investec Mile last season, but showed nothing like that level of form since until last time when third at Newbury.

If he is to triumph in this contest again, Sir Michael Stoute’s five-year-old will have to do so off a 7lb higher mark.

The favourite looks worth taking on, but God Willing hasn’t won a race since his two-year-old debut and Lacan may not get the luck in running which allowed him to nip up the inside favourably last time.

Gratzie ended last season with a four-timer which included two successes at Epsom.

His only start of this campaign looked fairly average, although he did stumble from the stalls and have issues with the running rail about midway through the contest.

He competes off the same mark again here and looks overpriced to return to winning ways.

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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.