The 2017 Epsom Handicap is a Group 1 race that is held each year in Late September/early October at Randwick Racecourse in Sydney.
Run under handicap conditions, the Epsom Handicap is the premier handicap event of the Sydney Spring Racing Carnival. Worth $500,000 in prize money, the Epsom Handicap is run over a miler’s distance of 1,600 metres. The Epsom Handicap features on the same day as the Group 1 Metropolitan and the Group 1 Flight Stakes for three-year-old fillies.
The first Epsom Handicap took place back in 1863 when it was won by a horse named Dundee. The race was not run in 2007 due to the outbreak of equine influenza throughout Australia. Throughout the Epsom Handicap’s long history, a number of horses have claimed successive race wins. This includes Masquerade (1881-82), Melodrama (1906-07), Chatham (1932-33), Toi Port (1963-64), Super Impose (1990-91) and Desert War (2004-05). The fastest winning Epsom Handicap time was set by Final Fantasy (2001) with 1 minute and 22.45 seconds, while the slowest winning time of the Epsom Handicap was recorded by High Law in 1952 who won the race in 1 minute and 43 seconds.
Horses that perform well in the Epsom Handicap often go on to run in races such as the Group 2 Crystal Mile at Moonee Valley on Cox Plate Day later in the month. Other notable winners of the Epsom Handicap include Nightmarch (1929), De La Salle (1948), Noholme (1959), Sky High (1961), Gunsynd (1971), Imposing (1979), Theseo (2008) and Captain Sonador (2010).
Epsom Handicap Field
The Epsom Handicap has a rather large field, with the race allowing a maximum of 20 runners to compete plus emergencies. The field is chosen based on a balloting system that assigns a number to each horse that is nominated for the race. The horses with ballot numbers one to 20 will make it into the final field. Ballot numbers are predominantly decided on a horse’s handicap rating. The higher the handicap rating a horse has, the lower the ballot number will be. Handicap rating is decided on things such as prize money won in the past two years and a horse’s performance in recent races. Horses may also gain entry to the Epsom Handicap by winning certain eligible lead-up races that grant them automatic entry into the Epsom Handicap. Horses that win races such as the Group 3 Tramway Handicap and the Group 1 George Main Stakes are then able to beat the ballot to gain entry into the Epsom Handicap.
The Epsom Handicap field is open to all horse aged three-years-old and upwards and is run under handicap conditions. This means that those horses that are rated the highest will carry the heaviest weight. This is done to ensure that all horses in the field have a close to equal chance of winning. The Epsom Handicap field is always made up of a strong field of milers, who are capable of being competitive at Group 1 level over the 1,600 metre distance.
The 2017 Epsom Handicap field is below.
2017 Epsom Handicap Nominations
The Epsom Handicap nominations were released at the same time as other major Sydney races the Metropolitan Handicap and the Spring Champion Stakes. There are bound to be some great horses listed on the 2017 Epsom Handicap nominations.
The 2017 Epsom Handicap nominations will be listed below.
Epsom Handicap Form Guide
The Epsom Handicap is often used as a form guide for the remainder of the spring carnival. Horses that perform well in the Epsom Handicap are usually expected to be competitive in races such as the Caulfield Guineas for three-year-olds, Toorak Handicap, Thousand Guineas for three-year-old fillies, Seymour Cup, Crystal Mile, Myer Classic for fillies and mares, Inglis Miles for mares aged four-years-old and upwards, Hawkesbury Gold Cup and the Caulfield Guineas. However, most of the runners in the Epsom Handicap are likely to be angling towards an Emirates Stakes run. The Emirates Stakes is worth a total of $1 million in prize money and is run under quality handicap conditions over the same distance. Being the richest mile-long race of the Spring Carnival, this is a usual target for all Epsom Handicap runners. Therefore, the Epsom Handicap can be used as a good guide when deciding what horse is likely to perform in the Emirates Stakes.
When trying to pick a winner in the Epsom Handicap, races such as the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes, Tramway Handicap, George Main Stakes, Tea Rose Stakes, Stutt Stakes, Shannon Stakes, Stan Fox Stakes and Edward Manifold Stakes are good form guides to follow.
Epsom Handicap Betting
The Epsom Handicap is known for offering quality odds on most of the field. This is due to the fact that most of the horses have won stakes races in the past and are extremely talented. Therefore, it is always hard to choose which horse will win, particularly under handicap conditions, where it is the handicapper’s job to try and ensure that all horses have an equal chance of winning. So for people who are confident that a particular horse will win, there is an opportunity to make big dividends. It goes without saying that melbourne cup bets and odds are sought after weeks in advance of the final field being announced too.
People may choose to place bets such as a straight forward win or place bet on the Epsom Handicap. A roughie that manages to place in the Epsom Handicap can pay very healthy odds for finishing in the top three. The usual quinella, exacta, trifecta, mystery trifecta and quadrella bets are also popular on the Epsom Handicap.
As with all the main spring carnival feature races, it is common for people to place a double bet on the Epsom Handicap. Bets such as the George Main Stakes/ Epsom Handicap double, Manikato Stakes/ Epsom Handicap double, Epsom Handicap/ Caulfield Guineas double, Epsom Handicap/ Thousand Guineas double, Epsom Handicap/ Caulfield Cup double, Epsom Handicap/ Cox Plate double, Epsom Handicap/ Victoria Derby double, Epsom Handicap/ Melbourne Cup double, Epsom Handicap/ Crown Oaks double and Epsom Handicap/ Emirates Stakes double are widely popular.
Epsom Handicap Odds
Epsom Handicap odds are first released when nominations are announced approximately one month before the race is run. There can be up to 100 horses nominated for the Epsom Handicap and odds are available on all horses at good odds. However, should a nominated horse not make the final field, or choose not to run, then all stakes placed on that horses will be lost. Horses that are high up in the ballot order are usually offered at lower odds than those that do not look like they will make it into the final field.
Odds are re-released when the final field and barrier draw comes out closer to the race date. This has a big impact on the odds, with horses traditionally having a higher winning chance from one of the inside gates. It is easy for a runner to be caught wide after jumping from a wide barrier, or alternatively they may have to use up a lot of early energy to get across to the inside of the track. Any horses that are caught wide will be caught running a longer race than the rest of the field, causing them to often run out of steam before they can make their final sprint. Therefore, odds are usually shorter for horses with good barriers.
Epsom Handicap Tips
People choose to formulate their own Epsom Handicap tips by weighing up a variety of different factors. Firstly, there is the barrier draw. As previously mentioned, horses with a good inside draw are usually favourable to those who have to work hard early from the outside. A lot of people’s Epsom Handicap tips are dictated by the state of the track. If the track is wet then it is likely that people will turn to proven wet-track runners to feature heavily in their tips for the race.
Also, certain horses may have a very good second-up record. If this is the case and they are currently running in their second race of the preparation, people may tip them as likely winners. This also goes for horses that never seem to win their first start following a spell. These horses would not be likely tips if they were competing in their first run.
The most common way for people to formulate Epsom Handicap tips is by looking at certain lead-up races. How a horse performed in other handicap 1,600 metre races in the spring is usually a good guide as to how they will perform in the Epsom Handicap.
Epsom Handicap Day
Epsom Handicap Day is held at Randwick Racecourse in Sydney. The day also goes by the name of “Super Saturday”, with eight races on the day being of Group status. The Epsom Handicap shares its day with the Group 1 The Metropolitan, Group 1 Flight Stakes, Group 2 Premiere Stakes, Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes, Group 2 Premiere Stakes and Group 3 Craven Plate. Epsom Handicap Day is worth a total of $2.35 million in prize money.
Epsom Handicap Day is the final day of the Sydney Spring Racing carnival, with Melbourne taking over with Caulfield Guineas Day and the Caulfield Carnival as of the next weekend.
Epsom Handicap Day is one of the biggest race days in New South Wales and consistently brings tens of thousands of patrons to Randwick Racecourse to watch the races each year.
Epsom Handicap Results
The Epsom Handicap is one of the oldest races in Australia, being first run in 1863 when it was won by Dundee. The youngest jockey to win a race in the Epsom Handicap was Jim McHugh, who won the 1927 race aboard Robin Hood weighing just 27 kilograms and aged just 11 years and 4 months in his second ever race start.
Champion race horses such as Amounis (1926, 28), Nightmarch (1929), Chatham (1932-33), Sky High (1961), Gunsynd (1971), Imposing (1979) and Super Impose (1990-91) have all won the Epsom Handicap. The Epsom Handicap continued to be run during World War 1 and World War 2, however did not take place in 2007 due to Equine Influenza.
Below you will find a list of winners and results for the Epsom Handicap since the year 2000.
|2016||1 TBD||2 TBD||3 TBD||TBD|
|2015||1 Winx||2 Ecuador||3 Sons Of John||1:34.58|
|2014||1 He’s Your Man||2 Royal Descent||3 Hooked||1:33.34|
|2013||1 Boban||2 Streama||3 Toydini||1:34.43|
|2012||1 Fat Al||2 Ambidexter||3 Rolling Pin||1:34.56|
|2011||1 Secret Admirer||2 Pinker Pinker||3 Red Tracer||1:35.59|
|2010||1 Captain Sonador||2 Trusting||3 Sacred Choice||1:34.1|
|2009||1 Rock Kingdom||2 Rangirangdoo||3 Road To Rock||1:38.6|
|2008||1 Theseo||2 Bank Robber||3 Gallant Tess||1:36.2|
|2007||Race Not Run|
|2006||1 Racing To Win||2 Desert War||3 Malcolm||1:35.1|
|2005||1 Desert War||2 Johan’s Toy||3 Lotteria||1:34.5|
|2004||1 Desert War||2 Our Egyptian Raine||3 Tsuimai||1:37.2|
|2003||1 Clangalang||2 Grand Armee||3 Forum Floozie||1:35.2|
|2002||1 Excellerator||2 Kingsgate||3 Gordo||1:35.5|
|2001||1 Final Fantasy||2 Kingsgate||3 Crawl||1:22.5|
|2000||1 Shogun Lodge||2 Landsighting||3 Chinhoyi||1:33.5|