The Epsom Handicap is always the highlight of the Sydney Spring Racing Carnival and a capacity field packed full of talent will contest the Group 1 event at Royal Randwick on Saturday.

Leading Sydney trainer Chris Waller has an incredible eight horses in the Epsom Handicap field and he has the two favourites in the form of D’argento and Unforgotten, but this is a race with a huge amount of depth.

We have analysed all 22 horses in the field and our complete 2018 Epsom Handicap tips can be found below!


Hartnell is the clear top-weight in the Epsom Handicap and he really doesn’t get in particularly well at the weights. He wasn’t beaten far in either the P.B. Lawrence Stakes or the Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes, but he is not at the same level that he was 12 months ago. He would need to return to his very best in order to win the Epsom Handicap with the top-weight and I don’t think he is capable of that at this stage of his career.


This is Pierata’s chance to record a maiden Group 1 win. He was excellent first-up in the Missile Stakes, when he beat Kementari, and he lost no admirers with his second place finish behind Siege Of Quebec in the Bill Ritchie Handicap last start. In that contest, he was caught wide throughout and he maps to get a dream run in transit from barrier four with Corey Brown in the saddle. He has never won over a mile, but he beat home the likes of Trapeze Artist, Siege Of Quebec and D’argento over this trip when he finished second in the Royal Randwick Guineas in the Autumn.


I have plenty of respect for D’argento, but I can’t get him as short as his current price in this contest. His first-up performance behind Winx in the Winx Stakes was good, but I think he was entitled to finish a bit better when he was second behind Home Of The Brave in the Theo Marks Stakes. The inside barrier draw is an absolute nightmare for him. He is a horse that generally takes a while to get rolling and he is going to have a wall of horses in front of him in the straight. I am more than happy to take him on.


Shillelagh was not disgraced in the Theo Mark Stakes, but she would still need to find plenty of improvement to be a genuine chance in this contest.

Duca Valentinois

Duca Valentinois could hardly have been more disappointing in the Tramway Stakes before he returned to a semblance of his best form in the Bill Ritchie Handicap. He would still need to improve to win this contest and I think that he has shown throughout his career that he is just below what is required to win at this level.

Single Gaze

Single Gaze made her debut for the Chris Waller stable with a very flat performance in the Chelmsford Stakes and she was found to be lame after the race. She has trialled well between races, but it is impossible to back her off that performance.


Along with Pierata, Unforgotten is the horse to beat in the Epsom Handicap. She found the line nicely first-up in the Winx Stakes and she relished the step-up to a mile when she recorded a most impressive win in the Chelmsford Stakes. She drops four kilograms for the Epsom Handicap and the fact that she has already had a run over a mile is a big positive. Waller elected to scratch her from the George Main Stakes in order to keep her fresh for this contest and that could prove to be a winning move. She will need a touch of luck in running at the right time from barrier three and if she gets that, she will prove very tough to beat.

Mister Sea Wolf

Mister Sea Wolf heads into the Epsom Handicap on the back of two solid wins in the Winter Challenge and the Rowley Mile. This is a genuine step-up in class and I doubt that he is good enough to win a race of this quality, but he should still perform well.


This will be Arbeitsam’s third start in as many weeks after running in the Cameron Handicap and the Shannon Stakes. He wasn’t that far away in either of those races and the wide barrier draw could prove to be an advantage as he will have the chance to roll along in front. Tim Clark is a great judge of pace and Arbeitsam will give his rivals something to catch.


Religify was handily beaten by Unforgotten in the Chelmsford Stakes and he beat home only a single runner in the George Main Stakes. He will go forward and should ensure that there is plenty of speed in this contest, but he is the outsider of this field for a reason.


Lanciato has been thereabouts in both the Missile Stakes and the Tramway Stakes and he does get into this contest well in at the weight. I’m not sure that he has the upside to win a race of this quality, but he could be one to figure in exotics at a nice price.

Tom Melbourne

This might be the race where they finally let Tom Melbourne rip in front. He has drawn an incredibly wide barrier and Dean Yendall will need to either go forward or take him right to the back. Whether either will help him finally return to winning form is a genuine query and his performance in the Bill Ritchie Handicap was very flat.

Champagne Cuddles

Champagne Cuddles is on the quick back-up after she was narrowly denied by Shumookh in the Golden Pendant last weekend. This was a race that Champagne Cuddles really should have won, she look like she had it shot to pieces, and she isn’t a horse that you want to back in a close finish. The wide barrier draw makes it very difficult for her.

Red Excitement

Red Excitement returned to a semblance of his best form with a second place finish in the Cameron Handicap, but this is a much harder race again. $71 is around the right price.

New Tipperary

New Tipperary returned to winning form with a shock win in the Cameron Handicap. That was the best performance of his career to date and is a clear spike figure. I would be surprised if he was able to produce at that level again.

Siege Of Quebec

Siebe Of Quebec could be the x-factor in the Epsom Handicap field. He was dreadful when he finished at the tail of the field in the Theo Marks Stakes, but he beat Pierata to win the Bill Ritchie Handicap last start. That performance has to be respected and he goes into this race as a genuine winning chance. The concern is the wide barrier draw and the map doesn’t look great for him.

Invictus Prince

Invictus Prince stunned punters when he finished second behind Winx in the Winx Stakes and he was unable to reproduce that performance in the Bill Ritchie Handicap. I think his last start performance may be closer to his true ability levels.


Radipole returned to the races with a fairly flat effort at Caulfield and this is a big step-up in class. He has drawn horribly and I just don’t think he is up to this level.


Muraaqeb clearly enjoys Sydney and he returned to Royal Randwick with a fairly strong win in the Shoot Out Mile. This is obviously a much tougher assignment, but he is a horse that is capable of a spike performance on his day.


Goodfella will be another horse having his third start in as many weekends. He wouldn’t win a Benchmark 88 last start, so an Epsom Handicap win is almost certainly beyond him.


Nettoyer is the first emergency for the Epsom Handicap and she has also been included in The Metropolitan field. It is tough to see her being a factor in either race.


Paret started his campaign with three straight wins, but he was never able to get into the contest in the Bill Ritchie Handicap. He is the second emergency and will require a pair of scratchings to earn a start.