The date that all horse racing fanatics would have had in their calendars for months now is the 1st of June. This is the date when Britain’s most prestigious of their five classics takes place, and it is the richest horse race in the United Kingdom. The Epsom Derby serves as the middle leg of the Triple Crown; with the first of the three being the 2000 Guineas, while the St Leger follows it.
If flat trainers could pick one event that they wanted to win; then this is it. The race dates back to 1740, and since then has been a stable in the British racing calendar and has gathered a global audience. This year could be one of the most open in recent memory, but who should be punters be keeping an eye on?
The three-year-old trained by A P O’Brien will likely lead the betting with BetXChange into the meeting and comes with into the Derby with an excellent fun of form. The Epsom race will only be the third run of this star’s career, but the signs are that the Derby could be Sir Dragonet’s for the taking.
His first run came at Tipperary when Sir Dragonet roared to victory by three lengths after being set off at a price of 14/1. He held off the early challenge from Zarafshan; who was the early favourite before storming to the line. Last time out he beat the highly-regarded Japan by eight lengths at Chester.
This three-year-old’s stock really rose during a recent meeting at York. Up until that point the Hughie Morrison may not have been in contention to hold off the quality of challengers’ that is needed in the Derby. In the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes, Telecaster held off the remarkable Too Darn Hot to win by a length.
However, the one question mark which remains over the Castle Down Racing horse is regarding whether he can beat Bangkok. Telecaster was well beaten by the challenger in his debut run in Doncaster, and the two will both be in the Derby.
There won’t be many horses in the race that have had as much track time as Bangkok. The three-year-old has run on five occasions, but this season he has come into his own. Last season was marred with near misses for the Andrew Balding horse; finishing second, fourth and fourth in his first three runs.
This season has been a contrast to that. Bangkok defeated Telecaster by one-and-a-quarter lengths in his comeback run, before a second win on the bounce was accomplished at Sandown at the end of April when he held off the challenge from Technician to win by one length. Bangkok will be a serious contender.
Line of Duty
A reasonable outside chance for punters will be the popular Line of Duty. This season has been a struggle thus far but he tasted three victories last season and that means that Charlie Appleby trained three-year-old should be given a second look.
Should last season’s form be replicated then Line of Duty will have an excellent chance, and he will be a popular bet for novices due to his name sharing that of a popular British drama which aired this year. However, each way value could be had on the three-year-old.