HARPER LODGE FARM runs two horses at Epsom with Dancinginthewoods (aka “Woody”) and Stake Acclaim running on the Friday and Saturday respectively.
The former, a 2yo colt by Garswood (pictured), owned by Solario Racing (Ashridge) runs in the opener tomorrow, the Woodcote Stakes, a Conditions race worth £60,000. The race lost its Listed status two years ago but it has retained its prize money.
“Woody” won first time up in a Newmarket novice two weeks ago, coming from near last to first to win right on the line under Joey Haynes at odds of 50/1! Was it a fluke? Was it a weak race by Newmarket standards? Time will tell and we’ll know more about him after tomorrow.
Epsom is a unique course with its undulations and camber and many horses don’t act on it. There’s optimism in the camp that he’ll handle the course but ideally, we’d have liked another week. He looked for all the world as though he needs 7f now but there are only seven runners and with prize money down to sixth place, hopefully we’ll be in the money! Joey Haynes, who rode him at Newmarket is again in the saddle.
Stake Acclaim runs in the Investec “Dash” Handicap at Epsom on Derby Day, a 20-runner Class 2 contest over 5f and a race the stable won in 2016 with Prince Caspian, who lines up again.
The stable runner is second top-weight under Robert Winston and like Dancinginthewoods is drawn on the inside in stall one. The 108-rated 6yo son of Acclamation won nicely last time out at Newbury after a 517-day absence but that was on his preferred soft ground. The going is currently good but with temperatures looking to climb during the next two days, the ground could be livelier than ideal come Saturday afternoon at 3.45pm.
Both stable runners are around 20/1, so a win from either would be defying the odds! Good luck to connections of both horses, Solario Racing (Ashridge) and Michael Yarrow.