In this post, I shall take a look at the one and only Derby. I have called it the Epsom Derby in the title for SEO purposes but you and I know there is only one.
Firstly I should say my two ante-post punts have gone belly-up! Too Darn Hot was dropped back to a mile and came second in the Irish 2,000 Guineas having failed to stay in the Dante at York. Each-way punt Mount Everest has sadly succumbed to an injury and will not be seen until later in the summer according to trainer Aidan O’Brien.
And so to the thirteen horses that will line-up at Epsom on Saturday 1st June 2019 in the Derby. The first thing to note, Aidan O'Brien is set to saddle seven of them!
I shall begin with the favourite, and he has to be and is rightly favourite but….. I have to say I am not that convinced about the form of the G.3 1m4½f Chester Vase won by Sir Dragonet. They went a snail's pace early round the tight turning Roodee and he simply got a great run round the bend and went away in what was really a sprint finish. He will have to go a fair bit faster early on in the Derby, will that take him out of his comfort zone? He is the pick of Ryan Moore. Also, it should not be forgotten his two runs, and wins, to date have been on good-soft. Norway was second having been blocked when the race finally got going and it would not surprise me if he proves better than the 8-length beating he was giving by his stablemate that day but it is hard to see him winning. Second in the market Broome didn’t set my pulse racing winning the 1m2f G.3 Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial Stakes out in the Emerald Isle. In both of his wins this season the jockey has been at work a fair way out and I wonder if he may find things happening a bit too quick as they turn in and end up staying on into a place. Third that day Sovereign is available at 50’s which tells you what the Bookies think of him and he is in purely from a tactical point of view you would think.
Telecaster looked good on first impression winning the G.2 1m2½f Dante Stakes but when you think about it he was afforded an easy lead with Turgenev before holding off Too Darn Hot, who didn’t stay, by a length. He keeps getting shorter in the betting but I am not convinced. Japan was fourth staying-on one-paced over the slightly shorter trip than they will face in this. I am not convinced Telecaster can boss this field.
Bangkok won the G.3 1m2f Classic Trial at Sandown, had beaten Telecaster previously this season at Doncaster. He should stay and could be there or thereabouts at the finish but the each-way price has gone.
Madhmoon was last seen staying-on in the 2,000 Guineas into fourth but there has to be a doubt as to whether he will see out 1m4f here; breeding would suggest a mile will be his game. Cicus Maximus won the Listed Dee Stakes at Chester but he would be a bigger price if stabled in any other yard than Ballydoyle. He is bred to get middle distances so if others falter at the trip could be in the places.
Charlie Appleby, successful last summer with Masar, relies on Line Of Duty despite a disappointing run in the Dante; I thought he might go for the shorter French Derby but he will line-up here. The colt has to have come on bundles to get involved here. Humanitarian and Hiroshima are surely here for connections to have a day out and nothing else.
Anthony Van Dyck won what looked to be a fair Lingfield Derby Trial Stakes over 1m3½f, admittedly only Listed class. This hasn’t been the best trial for Derby pointers in recent years, 8 winners have gone on to Derby glory but the last was High Rise in 1998. That said Best Solution won in 2017 and he has multiple G.1’s to his name now and Kew Gardens was second last year before going on to register three wins including of course the St Leger. They went what appeared to be a fair lick from the off and Ryan Moore didn’t have to give him the full treatment for the son of Galileo and to go 2¼ lengths clear at the line. Moore and part–owner Paul Smith were both saying afterwards how he would come on for the run and he certainly looked at home over the trip. That, of course, was his first try over further than a mile so he should come on again and he is bred with that wonderful mixture of stamina and speed. At 13-2 he looks a fair price to me, the colt is battle-hardened and has fewer questions to answer than some of his less exposed rivals. He was also left in the French Derby but comes here rather than cross the Channel. Loyal Ballydoyle servant Seamie Heffernan rides.