Minding was a hugely impressive winner of yesterday’s Oaks where the field was left strung out across Epsom Downs on ground that was clearly stamina sapping.
Today’s Derby will be run on slightly better going, but with such a large field there will surely be plenty of pace on early, so the winner will again have to stay every inch of the 1m 4f trip.
The Ballydoyle juggernaut has a real chance of doubling up Minding’s blue riband success as US Army Ranger looks likely to go off favourite here.
His victory in the Chester Vase received mixed reviews, but his connections warrant the utmost respect and he is clearly their first choice on jockey bookings. There is undoubtedly plenty more to come and he couldn’t be better bred for the job, so he looks to have stronger claims than market rival Wings Of Desire.
John Gosden’s charge wasn’t totally convincing when he came here for the Breakfast With The Stars gallop and he may lack the tactical speed to stay out of trouble in such a large field.
The same could be true of Cloth Of Stars, who also looks to run a bit lazily at times, so of those at the head of the market we are leaning towards ULYSSES.
After Aiden O’Brien, the next man to follow with his Derby runners is Sir Michael Stoute and the Newmarket dogs have been barking about Ulysses for some time now. He is very inexperienced for a battle like this, but was so impressive last time out and has the pedigree to be absolutely top class.
A case can be made for many of the other runners, but the Derrinstown Derby Trial used to be a great guide for this race and that, coupled with the fact that Coolmore’s outsiders often out run their odds in this race, points us towards SHOGUN and IDAHO as possible outsiders to consider.
Shogun surprisingly dropped back in distance in the Irish Guineas last time out, but this is more like his trip and he looks overpriced if he can improve at all for this greater test of stamina.
Idaho also finished strongly in the closing stages of the Derrinstown under a hands and heels ride. He is another blue blooded colt who couldn’t be better bred for this supreme test of a thoroughbred.
Either could easily make the frame so we would suggest backing both at their tasty odds.
|Ulysses (ew)||4.30 Epsom||9/1||Paddy Power, Bet365|
|Idaho (ew)||4.30 Epsom||16/1||Paddy Power, Bet365|
|Shogun (ew)||4.30 Epsom||50/1||Coral, Bet365|
Investec Private Banking Stakes
There is an outstanding support card which kicks off with a competitive handicap over a mile and a quarter.
Michael Stoute has outstanding claims here too, in a race he has farmed in recent seasons. The form of Poets Word’s win last time out couldn’t be working out much better and he has been heavily supported in recent days as a result. He is plenty short enough now, though, which means there is value to be had elsewhere and CARTAGO looks an each-way bet to nothing with some 5/1 available this morning.
He was a fine 2nd in a hot race last time out and his conqueror that day looks set to run in the French Derby, so a small weights rise may underestimate his ability.
There are plenty of dangers, including the lightly raced pair of Dark Devil and Banish, but the biggest threat might be the consistent SCARLET DRAGON who is due some luck in running after encountering problems in a few of his recent starts. The trip should bring about some improvement and he has run well here before.
The best long shot could be PERCY STREET, who started off the season contesting Derby trials. A drop back in grade to handicap company should see him being more competitive and he looks too big in the market this morning.
|Cartago (ew)||2.00 Epsom||5/1||Bet365|
|Scarlet Dragon (ew)||2.00 Epsom||18/1||Bet365|
|Percy Street (ew)||2.00 Epsom||50/1||Stan James|
Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Cup
The day’s other big race is the Coronation Cup, where Postponed looks a solid favourite. However, we are big fans of SIMPLE VERSE and with the dead 8 going to post, 11/2 looks a great each-way bet. She couldn’t have run much better on her seasonal re-appearance last time out when having to give weight away all round.
With her yard coming back into form, it will also be interesting to see how Arabian Queen fares as she has caused a shock in the past in a race like this.
|Simple Verse (ew)||3.10 Epsom||11/2||Bet365|
Investec Corporate Banking ‘Dash’
The Dash at 3.45 looks almost impossible to solve, but for those looking to get a few quid in their pockets ahead of the big one we like the look of MUKAYNIS, who has been running well for his new yard recently. He met plenty of trouble in running last time out and today’s winner will certainly need luck on their side.
Mukaynis is drawn high, which has tended to be the place to be in recent renewals, but in case the far side is riding quicker it would probably pay to also back something towards that far rail and the one we like is ROUDEE, who is at home with a bit of cut in the ground.
Sky Bet are also offering 5 places for each-way bets on this race (4 elsewhere).
|Mukaynis (ew)||3.45 Epsom||12/1||Sky Bet|
|Roudee (ew)||3.45 Epsom||14/1||Sky Bet|
Investec Asset Finance Stakes
Another fiercely competitive contest is the Investec Asset Finance Stakes that follows the Derby and is run over the same course and distance.
STAR OVER THE SEA has returned to Mark Johnston after a reasonably success spell hurdling with David Pipe and if he can re-discover the same level of form he showed when first with the Yorkshire handler he would have a far better chance than his odds suggest. He has also run well here before.
Jumps trainer Gary Moore also has a contender of note in WHINGING WILLIE, who wasn’t far behind one of the principle fancies here, Barwick, last time out.
|Stars Over The Sea (ew)||5.15 Epsom||28/1||Stan James, William Hill|
|Whinging Willie (ew)||5.15 Epsom||22/1||Stan James, William Hill|
Investec Asset Management Stakes
Finally, we like SHARED EQUITY and GHALIB in the getting out stakes, provided the ground hasn’t dried out too much by then.
|Shared Equity (ew)||5.50 Epsom||15/2||Stan James|
|Ghalib (ew)||5.50 Epsom||6/1||Bet365|