Jim Crowley can warm up for the Oaks with a Maverik success
The highlight of Jim Crowley’s day will undoubtedly be getting the leg up on likely favourite Secret Gesture in the Oaks, but he could be set to get into winning ways elsewhere on the Epsom TV card with Maverik.
1:35 Thistle Bird @ 4/1
If the ground were to dry up ever so slightly then the ultra-consistent Thistle Bird would have everything in her favour here, having won three of her five runs at this trip. Only Waterway Run and Ighraa are better off than Roger Charlton’s filly at the weights on ratings and she faces Ladys First, Beatrice Aurore and Making Eyes off level burdens having previously finished upsides of them conceding 4lbs or more.
Hat-trick seeker Gifted Girl (7/1) rates her most exciting rival, having decimated an Ascot handicap off 9st last time and would be a confident selection if the ground were riding faster, with her career wins all coming on good to firm going or Polytrack.
2:10 Area Fifty One @ 6/1
Area Fifty One ran a cracking race to finish two-and-three-quarter lengths behind the progressive Sir John Hawkwood at York last time when giving that rival, alongside the second and third, at least 6lbs. Considering the winner that day has gone up 14lbs in the handicap since and the former’s mark has eased by 1lb he could be one for the each-way thieves.
His chances are further improved by the withdrawal of Niceofyoutotellme, for whom the ground is running on the soft side.
2:45 Producer @ 4/1
Sri Putra (5/1) may no longer be a spring chicken, but Roger Varian’s multiple Group-winner is best off at the weights with his rivals here on ratings and has done most of his winning at trips around a mile.
However, neither the former nor any of his rivals will have such an affinity with the Epsom Downs as Producer, who has won all four of his previous races here and is taken to gain his first win over a mile for the powerful Richard Hannon/Richard Hughes axis.
3:20 Maverik @ 7/1
William Knight’s gelding promises more fun for Crowley as the pair bid to follow up a course and distance win last year. The five-year-old has lost just once in four races between 1m and 1m1f and has placed in two of his four runs on soft ground.
Although he’s 5lb above his highest winning mark now this earns him a burden of 9st2lbs, not a bad omen when seven of the last 10 winners of this contest have lugged 9st1lb or more.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publication