Tag Archives: Epsom Derby

Epsom Derby (G1)

The first Saturday in June brings the ultimate test of the thoroughbred, the Epsom Derby.

This year’s renewal has a field of thirteen, eight from Ireland, seven from Ballydoyle along with Kevin Prendergast’s Madhmoon, and five from England. The forecast is good and the ground will be good to firm.

Let’s review the recent Derby trials:

The Sandown Classic Trial G3, 26th April

Bangkok 10/1, took the Sandown Classic Trial on good to firm ground. He’s somewhat of a forgotten horse in the market as prior to winning this he’d beaten Telecaster in a maiden who went on to win The Dante. The market has been cold on him, you can back at more than twice the odds of Telecaster. A win for him will be hugely emotional, his owners King Power lost Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha in the Leicester helicopter crash last October.

The 2000 Guineas G1, 4th May

Madhmoon 11/1, by Dawn Approach, is the only horse who contested the Guineas to come to the Derby. He was a very taking juvenile, a maiden winner in August, he beat Broome in easy fashion in the Juvenile Stakes in September. His Guineas run at Newmarket where he finished fourth suggested a Derby tilt would be within his compass.

Madhmoon after debuting at Leopardstown last August

The Chester Vase G3, 8th May

Ballydoyle’s Sir Dragonet, a son of 2012 winner Camelot is the 3/1 favourite and will be partnered by Ryan Moore. Proven at the trip, he was unraced as a two-year-old only making his appearance at Cork over a mile and a half in April on yielding to soft ground. He was unfancied, let go off at 14/1, he pissed up. Sent to Chester for the Vase he did it again, this time coming from last to first to beat Norway, his better fancied stable companion in an even more authoritative performance, yet the market let him go off the fifth choice at 13/2. Aidan expressed his surprise as he showed little at home. He was supplemented for this as expected on Monday.

Norway 40/1, by Galileo out of Love Me True is a full brother to 2013 winner Ruler Of The World. He contested a G1 late last year, he went off favourite in the Criterium de Saint-Cloud finishing fourth, a similar path taken by Wings Of Eagles who won this in 2017.


Circus Maximus odds have halved from 20/1 on Wednesday to 10/1, he mixed it with some of the best last year, second to Persian King, fourth to Magna Grecia (only beaten 1L) with Pheonix Of Spain just ahead, he beat Mohawk in the Dee Stakes comfortably here over a 1m2½f, by Galileo out of Duntle, a miler. Will his stamina stretch the extra 1½f?

The Lingfield Derby Trial Listed, 11th May

Anthony Van Dyck, another Galileo has been a drifter in the market all week out to 8/1 from 5/1, this on the back of a Lingfield Derby Trial success where he certainly looked the part. This was a big step up on an active juvenile campaign where in seven runs he never went beyond a mile. The step up in trip definitely suited. No issue with him staying.

Broome returns after winning the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown in May

The Derrinstown Derby Trial G3, 12th May

Broome, second in the market at 9/2, is a son of Australia. He came a more conventional path, five runs as a juvenile and two preps this year where his form picked up considerably on his juvenile career. In April he was a very impressive Balysax winner, in May in the Derrinstown he won again, he did look to labour briefly in the straight before being gathered by Ryan Moore to pull away impressively. Sovereign cut the deficit between himself and Broome from the Ballysax to the Derrinstown, beaten 8L in April it was reduced to 3L come May. Is there further improvement? If so the 100/1 on offer could look silly.

Sovereign on the way out to contest the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown

The Dante Stakes G2, 16th May

Hughie Morrison leads the home defence with Telecaster, a 5/1 shot. He’s certainly bred of it, by a Derby winner New Approach out of an Oaks second Shirocco Star, he was also supplemented having come to prominence by overcoming Too Darn Hot in the Dante. Like Sir Dragonet he only made the racecourse this year, he had the two run’s prior to the Dante, beaten by Bangkok first time out in a maiden then demolishing a field 9L to break his maiden before the Dante.

Japan, a 10/1 shot was talked about with the Derby in mind after winning the Beresford last year where he beat Norway, niggles put him last to trial of the Ballydoyle party in the Dante where the further he went the better he travelled. He finished fourth with Line Of Duty, a G1 winner in the Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf dropping out tamely finishing second last.

John Gosden runs Humanitarian 50/1, the only one not to trial, he won a novice stakes at Salisbury on the 16th May. It’s a big ask to step up to win a Derby in the space of two weeks.


The trials have been informative, Sir Dragonet, Anthony Van Dyck, Broome and Telecaster were all good winners. It leaves Ballydoyle going in mob-handed, it’s easy to think the team are average, no standout, yet the trials entitle them to send in the troupes.

Sir Dragonet’s homework is incomparable with what he’s done on the track, he keeps his best for the public to see, it’s his inexperience that is a concern going into such a demanding situation as the Derby. The market drift of Anthony Van Dyck also puts one off. Broome and Telecaster appeal, the former for his improvement from two to three, the latter for his high-class defeat of Too Darn Hot, though how good Too Darn Hot is after defeat at the Curragh remains to be seen.

Of all of the trials, the best is the Guineas, fourth at Newmarket says just short of a milers pace, preserving that pace to extend to 12F and the pointer tilts to Epsom. Masar was one place better last year at Newmarket and then went on to win at Epsom. He will have to overcome stamina doubts, connections are bullish he can, should he do so Madhmoon can follow suit.

Madhmoon gets a pat from Chris Hayes after winning the Juvenile Stakes at Leopardstown last year

Recommendation: Madhmoon 11/1 ew

Madhmoon, Broome, Sovereign (trifecta)

Follow the 2019 G1 Pattern Racing year in championship format by clicking on the links below.

PRWC 2019 Horse, PRWC 2019 Jockey, PRWC 2019 Trainer, PRWC 2019 Sire, PRWC 2019 Owner, PRWC 2019 Breeder

View last years championships here by clicking on the links below.

PRWC 2018 Horse, PRWC 2018 Jockey, PRWC 2018 Trainer, PRWC 2018 Sire, PRWC 2018 Owner, PRWC 2018 Breeder


The Derby (Group 1)

The Pentagon on his way out to win the Tyros Stakes last July

A field of twelve go to post for this years Derby headed by Saxon Warrior a drifter in the market due to his inside draw in stall one and the soft ground after heavy thunderstorms have taken their toll through the week.

There are no holes in Saxon Warrior.

His four runs have yielded four wins, all authoritative performances. Last August he came from the rear in his maiden to win in a matter of strides annihilating the opposition on yielding ground. In September he stepped up in class and easily won the Beresford Stakes from Delano Rossevelt on soft ground. In October he had his toughest test in the Racing Post Trophy where he won a neck from a battling Roaring Loin on good to soft ground. It was a proper test Roaring Loin headed him in the last furlong but Saxon Warrior just put the head down drawing away at the line. Game over.

On return at Newmarket after a winter where he strengthened up he was a very easy winner of the 2000 Guineas on good ground with Masar back in third and Roaring Loin back in fifth. Donnacha O’Brien got the ride with Ryan Moore in America and although he got a little excited lighting the touch-paper a tad too soon he was sitting on a beast that soon took off and again in a matter of strides it was all over. The fact that he could win so easily over a mile was telling. He’s bred for middle distances.

Aidan won’t rely solely on him and he’s accompanied by Kew Gardens, Delano Rossevelt, The Pentagon and Zabriskie.

Zabriskie put in a much improved performance behind Roaring Lion in The Dante albeit to run well for third. There was no coping with the winner who put in a very classy display. He certainly advertised the form of the Guineas very well.

Masar put in an exciting performance in the Craven in April winning it by 9L which led him to go off favourite for the 2000 Guineas. He ran a good race to be third behind Saxon Warrior beaten a head for second by Tip To Win. His form has received a significant boost at the Curragh on Saturday when Romanised won the Irish 2ooo Guineas as he had that colt 2L behind at Sandown in the Solario Stakes last September. He then went to France where he was beaten by Happily and Olmedo in the Jean-Luc Lagardere. That form also stands up with Happily running third in the Irish 1000 Guineas on Sunday and Olmedo winning the French 2000 Guineas a couple of weeks earlier.

Young Rascal was a comfortable winner of a maiden at Newbury in April and then went on to take the Chester Vase by a 1/2L from Dee Ex Bee with Aidan O’Brien’s favourite Hunting Horn back in third. The latter didn’t get a seat on the bus to Epsom.

Harry Dunlop’s Knight To Behold has a similar profile having won a maiden last October he came back this year to win the Lingfield Derby Trial where he beat the favourite, Aidan O’Brien’s Kew Gardens, who did get a seat on the bus.

Sevenna Star from the John Gosden yard won a Winsor Novice Stakes by 14L on heavy ground in April and then took the Sandown Classic Trial beating Ispolini and Hunting Horn yet Frankie Dettori has abandoned him in favour of Dermot Weld’s Hazapour.

Hazapour going out of the ring at Leopardstown to win the Derrinstown Derby Trial

He has largely come out of the pack after his win in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial where he beat Delano Rossevelt and The Pentagon in a bunch finish. The Pentagon went off favourite and was slightly disappointing. He couldn’t quicken from a good position whereas Delano Rossevelt found the pace a bit hot early on but he did quicken and stretch however Hazapour had got first run and got there. Over an extra two furlongs you could see the result reversed.

Delano Rossevelt leaving the ring at Leopardtown for The Derrinstown Derby Trial

The Guineas is the best trial for the Derby. Saxon Warrior was a really good winner of it. He’s bred for this though, by Deep Impact out of a Galileo mare, Maybe, who was trained at Ballydoyle, he reminds you of Sea The Stars who did the double in 2009. He was a real middle distance horse yet capable of winning over a mile at the highest level. Sea The Stars went on to do even greater things after Epsom and you can see Saxon Warrior doing the same.

Delano Rossevelt could follow him home with Masar best of the rest.

Recommendation: 1. Saxon Warrior 1/1 win  

                                        2. Delano Rossevelt 16/1 ew

                                       3. Masar 20/1 ew



The Derby (G1)

What’s sets the Derby apart and makes it such an appealing race is what it demands of a young three-year old.

The first requirement is to handle the preliminaries. The noise and build up affects animals more than it does the humans. It’s easy to boil over especially on a hot day. Then they have to go out on the course. Epsom is a horseshoe-shaped track with Tattenham Corner being the final bend 4 1/2 f from home. It’s a steep downhill track with an uphill finish with a pronounced camber which drags them into the rail. Tough. It finds them out, those how don’t stay run out of petrol before the line comes. Add ground, which by post time, will still include the word soft in places.

16 line up this year in an open year with no colt having stamped his authority over the trials.

Wing Of Desire leads the market on the back of his Dante win where he beat Deauville a neck. It’s the same path worn by his trainer and jockey who last year combined with Golden Horn to lift the blue riband.  He did it well always holding the challenge of Deauville. Like Jack Hobbs his maiden was won on the all weather at Wolverhampton 10 days after his racecourse debut where he ran third to Winning Story. He’s one of four to be supplemented.

Ballydoyle throw 5 at the target. The ante post favourite for the the last few months has been US Army Ranger. He’s been the Ballydoyle talking horse this spring. He won his maiden readily in April and then went to Chester for the Vase. Disappointment filled the air after his victory when in receipt of weight he just got home a short head from stablemate Port Douglas. People forget that as a juvenile Port Douglas won the Beresford Stakes at the Curragh last year hence the penalty he carried into the Vase.

Godolphin have supplemented Cloth Of Stars. Andre Farbe’s Prix Greffulhe winner beat Robin Of Navan (whom had beaten him twice as a juvenile) comfortably on good ground at Saint Cloud. He then like Pour Mio came to Epsom for breakfast with the stars where connections expressed their enthusiasm in a similar manner to 2011.

Godolphin’s other representative is Jim Bolger’s Derrinstown Derby Trial winner Moonlight Magic who had a convincing win over Shogun, Idaho and Beacon Rock. The form got a subsequent boost when the latter took Gallinule over Irish Guineas weekend.

The Ed Dunlop inmate Red Verdon has put in two good performances in handicap company over this 12f trip, enough to tempt his owners to stumped up the £75,000 supplementary fee. Humphrey Bogart owners also took the plunge encouraged by their colts second to So Mi Dar in the Epsom Derby Trial followed up by winning the Lingfield version.

Massaat brings the Newmarket Guineas form to the party. Owen Burrows colt ran second to Galileo Gold in a quick run Guineas and is very tempting at 16/1.

Dermot Weld has put Harzand away since he took the Ballysax in early April where he got the better of Idaho by a 1 1/4L . The pair went well clear of the third and visually it looked a very good trial. Harzand had won his maiden a few weeks before at Cork by 16 L’s and both runs were on heavy ground so there’s every possibility both will relish the surface here today. The ground today may just slightly favour Idaho.

In an open year we’ll rely on the Ballsax as the best trial and back both Harzand and Idaho each way.

Recommendation: Harzand 10/1 ew.

                                   Idaho 16/1 ew

The Derby (Group 1)

Embed from Getty Images

A big shock in the Oaks yesterday. Could the same happen in the Derby?

It’s got every chance with doubts about the one’s at the top of the market ability to stay.

What’s sets the Derby (and Oaks) apart and makes it such an appealing race is what it demands of a young three-year old.

The first requirement is to handle the preliminaries. The noise and build up affects animals more than it does the humans. It’s easy to boil over especially on a hot day. Then they have to go out on the course. Epsom is a horseshoe-shaped track with Tattenham Corner being the final bend 4 1/2 f from home. It’s a steep downhill track with an uphill finish with a pronounced camber which drags them into the rail. Tough. It finds them out, those how don’t stay, (like the favourite in the Oaks yesterday) they can run out of petrol before the line comes.

The favourite Golden Horn will have to be exceptional on breeding to handle that. His owner was convinced he was a 10 f horse yet the temptation the Derby offers means he has to put hope over logic. Who can blame him. After all he looked to have something left at the end of the Dante but then York is a flat track with a long wind up straight. Very different to Epsom. His stablemate Jack Hobbs looks to have flattered in winning a handicap by 12 L and while he may stay Godolphin’s purchase of him was done with a long eye into the future.

The dismissal of Giovanni Canaletto in the public mind before the Gallinule has reversed 360 degrees. He’s now the Ballydoyle hotpot having put holes in bookmaker prices all week down from 20/1 to 7/1 this morning. It been far from a smooth passage for Ballydoyle this year to the Derby and yet they come here with three live chances. Giovanni Canaletto looked every inch a stayer at Leopardstown and he’ll benefit and come on for that run.

Hans Holbein proved himself over the distance in the Chester Vase beating Storm The Stars who franked the form in the The Cocked Hat at Goodwood. Likewise Kilimanjaro did it in the Lingfield Derby Trial over 11.5 f.

Elm Park has the best two-year old form as a Derby pointer having won the Racing Post as a juvenile and the trip gives him every chance of reversing Dante form over Golden Horn and Jack Hobbs. It’s also worth noting he won the Royal Lodge on G/F last year and he has a pacemaker in Rouge Runner.

Moheet was a spring fancy for the Guineas but he didn’t have the pace to cope over a mile. He’s by High Chaparral so this will be his trip and he’s very tempting at such a big price.

Epicuris the French colt trained by Criquette Head looks to be full of stamina given he won the Criterium De Saint-Cloud over a mile and two as a juvenile last November on heavy ground. His target was the Prix du Jockey Club last Sunday but he was rerouted here after refusing to load in the Greffuhle last time out. That’s a worry.

Success Days would be favourite if he was under the care of Aidan O’Brien instead of Ken Condon (who). He’s won the Ballsax and the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trail on soft ground. The cribbers will knock the form saying he didn’t beat much in the Derrinstown but he did it as easy as you like with 10 L to spare. In the Ballysax he had John F Kennedy toiling a long way out. They’ll also say he won’t handle the ground yet his action doesn’t suggest he’s a soft ground specialist. Ken Condon isn’t a familiar face to the public but he will be after today.

He’s the choice at a tasty 16/1 with a few bob on Moheet at 40/1.

Recommendation: Success Days 16 e/w.

                                        Moheet 40/1 e/w