Derby & Oaks Preview.

Saturday 4th July 2020

Author: Jordan Yates

Welcome to this week’s preview which comes from Epsom where on Saturday it’s none other than Derby Day. This year it’s a unique occasion as we are treated to both the Derby and the Oaks on the same day due to the rescheduling of fixtures, therefore I shall be previewing both races here and sharing my punts in them.

A look back at what’s been happening on the site, we had a great weekend last week with some great punts landing. The most notable being the 11/1 winner on Big Baby Bull at the Curragh, as well as the likes of Limato winning the Criterion at 5/1 at Newmarket earlier on the same day. Sunday was also a good day with Time Scale and Strong Johnson both going in to complete a near 9/1 double.

Hope you enjoy this week’s preview!

The Oaks

This year’s Oaks is headed by the 1000 Guineas winner Love for Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore. She sits strongly at the top of the market at a general price of even money on the back that extremely impressive victory in the Classic at Newmarket, where she won by over four lengths. The stable did the Guineas/Oaks as recently as 2016 with Minding and this chestnut filly by Galileo will be a warm order to repeat the achievement. Her main rival comes in the form of John Gosden’s Frankly Darling who’s the mount of Frankie Dettori. She was last seen when winning the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot in smart style, whilst keen in the early stages of the race she got away from her rivals impressively in the straight and won very well, following on from her equally impressive display at Newcastle on seasonal reappearance. You can find her at around the 2/1 mark in the betting.

Ennistymon also represents Aidan O’Brien here and she was staying on well in the Ribblesdale to finish second behind Frankly Darling last time at Ascot. She looks a smart filly and will be a popular each-way play with punters here at around the 7/1 mark, Seamie Heffernan is on board. Concluding the Ballydoyle representatives is Passion who’s a 25/1 outsider and the mount of Padraig Beggy. Gold Wand is an interesting contender in the race, winner of a fillies race at Newbury when last seen, Roger Varian’s three-year-old by Golden Horn could well be anything. Andrea Atzeni is on board and she’s a 14/1 chance.

My Punt:

I’ve sided with FRANKLY DARLING here for the Gosden/Dettori duo. I’ve been mightily impressed with her performances this season and I think she’s very much a Group 1 horse. Sporting the Oppenheimer colours that were carried to Derby victory by Golden Horn a few years ago, I think this filly has every chance of mounting a serious challenge to the O’Brien hotpot. The way she won the Ribblesdale the last day despite being very keen was very impressive, and if settling better here she has to be considered a huge player.

FRANKLY DARLING (2/1) (Finishing Position: 3rd)

The Derby

The Derby this year sees Ed Walker’s English King sit at the head of affairs under Frankie Dettori. He arrives here having won two of his three starts to date, the latest of those coming in the Derby Trial at Lingfield where he got the better of Berkshire Rocco by just shy of three lengths. He can be found trading at a best price of 4/1 on this occasion. Just behind him in the betting is the Guineas winner Kameko, who will be partnered up with retained rider Oisin Murphy again. He got the better of both Wichita and Pinatubo at Newmarket that day and arguably boasts the strongest form on offer in the race here, he’s the general second favourite at around the 5/1 mark.

There are six representatives from Ballydoyle in the race this year and these are headed by Mogul, who’s the choice of Ryan Moore. An expensive recruit and brother to the smart Japan, it was somewhat a surprise to see Moore opting for him following his disappointing effort when odds on at Royal Ascot. He’ll have to come on for that effort and he’s a 6/1 chance to do so. A horse that didn’t flop at Royal Ascot was Russian Emperor, winner of the Group 3 Hampton Court Stakes by half a length he looks set to take his chance here under Seamie Heffernan. This smart colt by Galileo will likely be a popular each-way play with a lot of punters. Another Ballydoyle contender who will likely prove a popular each-way selection is Vatican City, who’s the mount of 2017 Derby-winning rider Padraig Beggy. He was last seen when finishing second in the Irish Guineas behind Siskin, he stayed on well that day and went in a lot of people’s notebooks for this particular assignment. Serpentine (16/1), Mythical (50/1) and Amhran Na Bhfiann (80/1) conclude the Ballydole line-up.

Highland Chief looks to be one of the stronger representatives for the home challenge, currently trading at around 14/1 Paul Cole’s charge was last seen when winning the Golden Gates Handicap at Royal Ascot. He’ll need to take a sizeable step up on that form here but there’s every chance that there is a lot more to come from him. Another Royal Ascot winner in the race is Pyledriver, a surprise winner at 18/1 in the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes, he was impressive that day getting the better of Arthur’s Kingdom and is reunited once more with Martin Dwyer here.

My Punt:

I’ve been very boring and unoriginal here and have actually backed ENGLISH KING to take this. I understand, to some extent, people’s criticism of his position in the market and I do agree that on all known form Kameko should probably be favourite. However, this horse really caught my eye in appearance and the way he went about his business in the trial at Lingfield when he comfortably beat Berkshire Rocco, who himself is no mug. That rival went onto finish second behind Irish Derby winner Santiago at Royal Ascot, which is pretty solid form in my book. I’ve got a terrible record punting in the Derby, I don’t think I’ve ever had a winner in it, one of my favourite horses of all time Golden Horn won it in 2015 and I backed the second Jack Hobbs. Hopefully, English King can change that.

ENGLISH KING (4/1) (Finishing Position: 5th)


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