Affectionately known as the ‘Epsom Dash’, this race is the fastest five-furlong sprint in the world. The runners go downhill from the start and for much of the way, making this a true test of pace and balance.
Although paling into insignificance against the following Derby and it’s £1.6 million pot, this is still a £100,000 race and thus it has attracted the usually very full and competitive field.
This is our six of the best:
Dusky Lord is just a four-year-old and there is no way we’ve seen the best of him yet, though what level he can reach is still up for debate.
A gelded Twilight Son offspring, Dusky Lord appears to be getting quicker as time goes on and that can only be a good thing in the context of this race.
His first win last August was over six furlongs at Brighton, before he stayed on up the hill ahead of another Twilight Son at Newcastle over five.
His only start this season came last month at Newmarket, winning again and in fine style, with this much sharper five furlongs perhaps now suiting him given than he’s really learning to sprint.
Given what we’ve seen with the likes of Equilateral and of course Battaash, we can say that Charlie Hills is a very good trainer of sprinters.
His four-year-old Equality was in behind Ancient Times last time out, but he was 10/11 favourite that day, was slowly away and hung left, so better is expected in this full field.
Before that he had taken a big leap forward from his three-year-old form when beginning the season with a very impressive win at Windsor, perhaps even making him look like a Group horse.
He is fully 12lbs higher in the weights now, but that win was impressive and he’s obviously going places.
Live The Dream
Local trainer Adam West is looking to make home advantage count, though this runner is just a three-year-old and even with a weight pull, they so often struggle against the older horses at this time of year.
That said, Live The Dream has done nothing but improve this season and comes into this race on the back of two consecutive wins.
He showed excellent pace in his all the way win at Sandown in late April, an important factor here, before scoring again at Chester during their May meeting.
Having led early, he was headed at Chester and showed great heart to get back to the lead before pulling away close home, another positive attribute heading to Epsom.
A real rare Epsom specialist, seven-year-old Mokaatil has won three times from four visits here including last year’s ‘Dash’.
Saving his best for this track, Ian Williams’ gelding won again here at the April meeting which in a way hasn’t helped, as he’s high enough in the weights now.
With that in mind, his trainer has booked top apprentice Harry Davies for this who takes off a handy 5lbs, but Mokaatil will need to be at the pinnacle of his game to double up.
Mulzim is an eight-year-old now who has won 8 races from 29 starts, a fair record, although he hasn’t been at his best lately. He did win at Southwell back in February, but that track is so very different to Epsom.
The positives are that he still shows good pace and he is 8lbs lower in the weights that when a very good second on the turf to Copper Knight in a tough sprint at the Dante Festival at York last year.
If he could repeat that form then he would go mightily close in this race, though naturally he comes with risks attached from a betting point of view these days.
Adrian Nicholls’ Tees Spirit is a young and improving sprinter, the type you always have to watch.
It appears that he was just basically learning his game last year, winning on his stable debut but then going down in each of his seven subsequent starts.
This term however he has reached new levels. Tees Sprit was a very comfortable winner over a quick five at Beverley, then last time beat Four Adaay at Nottingham who has won since.
Through Four Adaay Tees Spirit’s form also ties in closely with that of Equality, meaning he’s mixing with the right types.
Mulzim may prove to be the lively outsider, while Dusky Lord may have appreciated being drawn nearer the stands side. The hat-trick could be on however for TEES SPIRIT and he gets the vote.