ITV Racing Tips: Oaks so simple for O’Brien and Bye Bye Baby

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The Epsom Derby Festival gets underway on Friday with five scintillating contests live on ITV.

The Oaks is the feature race of the day, where Wild Illusion heads a field of nine attempting to win the third Classic of the season.

Cracksman will also make his eagerly awaited reappearance on these shores in the Coronation Cup, while three open Handicaps make it a card to pour over from the Surrey course.

We’ve had our say on the action with our ITV Racing Tips

NAP – Ajman King – 3:45, Epsom

Ajman King is the standout favourite in this Class 2 Handicap contest – and with good reason.

Roger Varian’s impressive four-year-old has been in cracking form of late. He returned to action at Epsom in April to complete a cross-seasonal hat-trick and maintain his unbeaten record at the Surrey course.

He’s shown his quality by rising through the classes and a 6lb rise shouldn’t be beyond him over his favourite 1m2f distance.

Previous runs on soft ground suggest that any overnight rain should not be a problem.

NB – Bye Bye Baby – 4:30, Epsom

With Lah Ti Dar and Magical both missing from the Oaks line-up, we could be set for a wide-open renewal of the third Classic of the season.

Aidan O’Brien accounts for half of the field, so it’s perhaps no surprise that we’re plumping for one of his Ballydoyle hopefuls.

Bye Bye Baby has shown a liking for soft and heavy ground in the past and on that basis – plus some pretty decent form – she gets the nod from the Ladbrokes News crew.

The daughter of Galileo returned to form last time out when landing a tasty looking Group 3 at the Curragh. She’s taken to prove her staying power in conditions which should suit the filly down to the ground.

Lively Longshot – Windstoss –  3:10 Epsom

Let’s be honest, it’s difficult to see heavy odds-on favourite Cracksman getting beat in the Coronation Cup.

But with six runners scheduled to tackle the 1m4f trip there could be each-way value to be found with Windstoss.

Markus Klug brings his raider to these shores for the first time following two Group 1 successes and a recent third to Oriental Eagle in the Gerling-Pries.

He’s won both of those Group 1 contests on soft ground, and with the conditions set to favour the son of Shirocco once again at Epsom, we think he could be one to keep an eye on for each-way backers.

ITV Racing Tips:

2:00 Epsom – Usain Boat 

2:35 Epsom – High Acclaim     

3:10 Epsom – Windstoss (Lively Longshot, EW)

3:45 Epsom – Ajman King (NAP)

4:30 Epsom – Bye Bye Baby (NB)

All Odds and Markets correct as of date and publication

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Nick Murphy

Nick is a graduate of the University of East Anglia where he doubled up as the sports editor of the student newspaper Concrete. He also supports Dagenham & Redbridge and previously edited the matchday programme at Victoria Road. Other passions include darts, cricket and horse racing.