As it does every year the Investec Derby is drawing a lot of coverage and attention! The fact that Aiden currently has 7 runners, John Gosden has 5 and there is a girl riding in the race who has only ever had one winner and her horse is a filly who has never won a race and is rated 52! It has all the drama and twists and turns you could want despite, on the surface, lacking an overall superstar - So let’s take a look at the runners and riders.
Starting with the Aidan O’Brien team- CLIFFS OF MOHER, is the favourite of the 7 and Ryan Moore is expected to take the ride on him which would make you thinks it’s their favourite too. It has everything you want in a Derby runner, impeccably bred by the super-stallion, Galileo. He won his Derby trial at Chester after stepping up in trip but with O’Brien’s domination, could be a great bet.
CAPRI- Another great entry from the yard, not as impressive form and is yet to win from the step up in trip at 1m 2f but has still finished in the top 4 so would be a solid each-way bet especially with any further rain.
VENICE BEACH- He is currently a better price than CAPRI and has won over the trip which looks likes he enjoys it more, I can’t understand why he is such a big price to be honest so get in quick, he would be my outside pick for sure.
DOUGLAS MACARTHUIR- Won last time out and has been in the top 4 the 3 times it has run over 1m2f so will just be the course that could catch him out, but at 25/1 currently there really is not much wrong with him and a solid each way chance.
WINGS OF EAGLES- Very well bred POUR MOI colt, he has only won once and not the best race history but with great breeding and a second last time out it would not be the biggest shock of the day for him to win.
THE ANVIL- One of the biggest outside chances with only one winner on the all weather it might be a big ask, he is an inconsistent horse but has performed well in the past.
FINN McCOOL- Again a little inconsisitant in his form but has a good race history and of all things that could happen he could finish in the top 4.
Keeping with the mass entries John Gosden now has 5 entries after it was announced he has now supplemented KHALIDI.
Starting with the most talked about horse CRACKSMAN, he is talked about for many reasons one being this could be FRANKEL’s first Derby winner, it could also be Frankie’s 3rd Derby win and for the Oppenheimers again. For the horse itself, he is currently unbeaten so has a lot to run for, that is not a claim you want to give up easily, he has already won well at Epsom so we know he can handle the course and distance it’s just how he does on the day now! I would love to see him win and Frankie snog Anthony again!
KHALIDI was only just supplemented at a cost of £75,000 on Tuesday morning. He is a little late to the party but John must thinks he deserves to be there, a very impressive for only once out the top 4 and never out of the top 3 this is a great each way bet at 25/1 he will love the trip and runs well on good ground
CROWNED EAGLE and PEALER are two big outside chances for the yard and have a lot to find with the market principles.
Saeed Bin Suroor looks set to send out 3 runners in the famous Godolphin blue silks on Saturday. His best chance appears to lie in BEST SOLUTION, who is currently 4th favourite. He won’t enjoy it if the ground is soft but with a dry week ahead he looks set to have a great chance.
DUBAI THUNDER has only had one run under his belt, albeit a very impressive win. It’s a bold move from his connections, the horse is very well bred and highly rated but with no horse winning the Derby after only 1 start since 1973, the stats are firmly against him.
BENBATL is an even bigger price but has a more solid form in the book. He was 2nd behind Permian at York’s Dante Stakes so is not without a chance but he would need to improve significantly to win.
I am a huge fan of EMINENT, he worked most impressively at Breakfast With the Stars and Jim Crowley said he struggled to pull him up. He is another son of FRANKEL so it would be a landmark victory for the sire. I was very disappointed with him in the Guineas but they obviously think he can do it and so does the bookies, he’s third favourite and would say at least worth an each way.
We also have PERMIAN who won the Dante Stakes at york, a key Derby, they say there is no better indicator for a Derby winner than that race so watch this space. Johnston has been quoted saying he will beat CRACKSMAN unless he had improved significantly, which is very bold! He is a very attractive price for such a good performance and makes him very hard to ignore.
Again from the O’Brien family but this time from his son Joseph we have REKINDLING, he looks a nice type but nothing really stands out for me, he has won over the trip but again is inconsistent and probably lacks the class to win.