Derby Day Preview. (Epsom) (01/06/2019)

Saturday 1st May

Images: Jordan Yates
Author: Jordan Yates
Graphics: Logopit Plus


Seen by many as the showpiece as the flat racing season the Epsom Derby takes centre stage this weekend as the biggest battalions in the UK & Ireland go head to head in an attempt to take one of racing’s biggest prizes. As is this case with many of the biggest races in Europe the market leader is currently trained by the Ballydoyle king that is Aidan O’Brien as he is responsible for current favourite Sir Dragonet. This is a horse that made a mighty impression when following up a debut success with a dominant display at Chester the last day in the Chester Vase. I was there at Chester on that occasion and it really was an impressive performance, settled at the back by Donnacha and then taking it up turning for home and winning with ultimate ease at the end, on that back of that he rightfully takes his place at the top of the market here. Aidan is responsible for seven of this year’s competitors as he goes all out for another Derby success and every horse that won their respective Derby Trial is set to take their chance.

As we go through the Ballydoyle string runner by runner the first one to take a look at would be the current second favourite which comes in the form of Broome, a three year old by previous Derby winner Australia he has won both of his starts this term which culminated in a success in the Group 3 Derrinstown Stud Trial in May. He’s a horse that responds well to pressure which showed in his latest success and currently finds himself  at a general 4/1 here with Donnacha O’Brien in the saddle. Another Ballydoyle contender that won a Derby Trial is Anthony Van Dyck, he was a very promising sort last year before finding a few too good in hotter contests towards the end of the campaign. He’ll relish any rain though should it come and will probably be up there with the pace as he likes to race prominently, you can find him at a best priced of  around 15/2 with Seamie Heffernan on board.

Seemingly further down this elite Ballydoyle pecking order comes the 1.3 million yearling that is Japan, this well made colt by Galileo was slightly disappointing when finishing fourth in the Dante Stakes the last day but is clearly well regarded to keep his position in the line up here. He’s currently the mount of Wayne Lordan and is generally a 10/1 chance.  Slightly further down in the betting comes the Dee Stakes winner Circus Maximus, he gives the impression that the further he goes up in trip the better he’ll be and remains with potential. He also has the services of Frankie Dettori on this occasion and is trading at around 16/1. Norway was favourite for the Chester Vase when Sir Dragonet ran away with it and he’s set to re oppose gain here, however this time finds himself as big as 40/1 in the betting. He does remain with potential though and see’s Jamie Spencer reunited with Aidan O’Brien for a Derby ride. Concluding the O’Brien runners is Sovereign, he’ll likely be used tactically and often makes the running. He does have the services of 2017 Derby winning jockey Padraig Beggy on board though.

With that being the Aidan O’Brien runners wrapped up we move onto the home challenge and starting off with this year’s Dante winner Telecaster. The Dante is the race that’s seen as the toughest of the Derby trials and Hughie Morrison’s colt by New Approach knuckled down gamely to see off Too Darn Hot in the closing stages. He has star potential about him and will be a popular selection in this, he’s once again reunited with Oisin Murphy and is currently around the 5/1 mark. The horse that actually beat Telecaster on his debut faces off again with him here and that comes in the form of the Andrew Balding trained Bangkok who represents King Power Racing and is the mount of Silvestre De Sousa. He was last seen when winning the Classic Trial at Sandown when beating Technician by just over a length, that rival failed to fire the next time at Chester however it remains to be seen what the limit of the ability is of this colt by former Derby winner Australia. You can currently find him trading at a general 8/1. Breeders Cup winner Line Of Duty looks to represent last year’s winning connections which is of course Charlie Appleby and Godolphin. He made his reappearance in the Dante last month and ran a disappointing race when finishing seventh, as a result of that he finds himself as one of the outsiders here at around 33/1 and will need to rediscover his two year old form if he is to play a part. James Doyle is in the saddle.

Irish raider Madhmoon will also take his place in the line up here for Kevin Prendergast, he was unbeaten last year as a two year old but suffered a somewhat shock defeat on his reappearance run in April. His next assignment was the English 2000 Guineas where he bounced back to form and ran a cracking race when finishing fourth, he remains with a lot of potential and looks likely to get this further trip. Chris Hayes takes the ride and he’s currently around the 11/1 mark. Humanitarian and Horishima are two outsiders in the line up at and trade at 66/1 and 250/1 respectively.

Race Verdict:

As ever, this race will very much be a tactical affair with there likely being a bit of competition on for the lead. This will most likely come from Sovereign as he’ll attempt to set a strong pace for the Ballydoyle horses to aim at, if it does become somewhat an emphasis on stamina Broome would likely come into his own as he’ll respond to pressure all day. Another O’Brien runner that will enjoy a test would be Circus Maximus who looks destined for the longer distances. Telecaster will likely try to be prominent and could well join a potential pacemaker and use them to his own benefit just as he did at York. That being said judging by his effort at Chester last time I do think that the market leader will be tough to beat and that’s why my first selection in this year’s Derby comes in the form of SIR DRAGONET. I’ve thought that the impression he made on his first two outings has been a mighty one and genuinely believe he could well prove to be another top star for Ballydoyle, he picked off his rivals with minimal fuss at Chester after being confidently ridden at the back and that looks a perfect prep for a tilt at this. He’s got the widest draw of all which obviously isn’t ideal however if ridden the same way he was at Chester I don’t think it will be too much of an issue as he’ll be ridden patiently and will attempt to pick them off in straight. I’ve also had an each way pick in the race and the one I’ve sided with is Andrew Balding’s BANGKOK, as stated in the preview he got the better of Telecaster earlier in the season at Doncaster and despite that rival going on to progress at a rapid rate the Balding horse hasn’t really had the opportunity to do that yet. These connections have been having a great amount of success so far this term and it would be fitting to see them go close again here, which I think they could well do.



Placings Prediction

1st: SIR DRAGONET (11/4)
2nd: BANGKOK (9/1)
3rd: CIRCUS MAXIMUS (14/1)


Investec Private Banking Handicap:
THE TRADER (11/2) (E/W)

Princess Elizabeth Stakes:

Diomed Stakes:

Investec ‘Dash’ Handicap:
BLUE DE VEGA (25/1) (E/W)

BANGKOK (9/1) (E/W)

Investec ‘Out Of The Ordinary’ Handicap:




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s