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Monday, 15 October, 2018

Speedy El Astronaute set to rocket to victory in the Dash at Epsom

John Quinn's big hope has already won at the track

El Astronaute (right) looks just the sort to prosper at Epsom
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Saturday's Derby undercard includes what has in the past been Britain's fastest ever race – and there are a couple of tasty bets in the Dash to also get the pulses racing.

The draw often plays a big part and 12 of the last 15 winners were berthed eight or higher, but a lower draw can be overcome with a sharp getaway so it's not a must.

One who can make a big impact wherever he is drawn is El Astronaute, who looks the horse to beat.

John Quinn’s charge is running off a career-high mark but he has plenty of early boot and raw speed, as he demonstrated when setting a fierce early gallop to make all at Chester.

Plenty of horses fail to take to Epsom, but the son of Approve is already a winner at the Surrey track and could be hard to catch for a trainer who won this race in 2004 with the speedy Caribbean Coral.

He would still be worth backing with a draw lower than ideal and his price could crash if he gets a high berth.

At bigger prices Line Of Reason, one of three entries for former winning trainer Paul Midgley, catches the eye and is worth a saver.

The Yorkshire handler has his sprinters in good form and his seven-year-old ran an excellent race at York last weekend considering the rain there, which is just what he doesn’t want.

He was beaten just three lengths on the Knavesmire by the well-handicapped Copper Knight and could have been even closer if not stopped in his tracks.

Epsom is a fast-draining track, though, so Line Of Reason should have more suitable conditions to exploit his lenient mark of 97.

The 2013 winner Duke Of Firenze heads the market after landing a big prize at York’s Dante meeting on ground probably softer than ideal, but he was third in this race last year off a 12lb lower mark and only one horse within the last 13 years has won this race aged eight or older.

Two-time Dash victor Caspian Prince would be feared more if he gets a high draw as he bids to win this race for a third different trainer.

Kimberella must also be respected for the in-form Richard Fahey yard having been dropped back into a handicap, but he was second off a mark of 92 last year and is now 17lb higher, albeit with apprentice Connor Murtagh potentially relieving some of the weight.

Read Aaron Ashley every week in the Racing & Football Outlook – out every Tuesday

He has plenty of early boot and raw speed as he demonstrated at Chester
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