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Derby Betting Odds 2017
June, 2017 at Epsom; click best odds in bold; Each-Way Place Terms: 1/4 odds 1,2,3.
|Sir John Lavery||20/1||20/1||16/1||20/1||20/1||20/1||16/1|
|Best Of Days||33/1||33/1||25/1||25/1||33/1||25/1||33/1||25/1||33/1|
|Cliffs Of Moher||33/1||25/1||33/1|
|Call To Mind||50/1||33/1||40/1|
Epsom Derby Preview & Betting Tip
The 2016 Epsom Derby is not only the richest but the most open renewal for years (4.30pm Saturday live on Channel 4, writes Fiora). Top trainers usually take this but the most fancied of Aidan O’Brien’s brigade of runners, US Army Ranger (5/1) looked unconvincing long before negative vibes emanated from Ballydoyle after a downpour at Epsom.
US Army Ranger was the odds-on favourite in the Chester Vase in early May but could only beat his less fancied stablemate Port Douglas – described by his trainer as a good Group 2 horse – by the shortest of margins. US Army Ranger had to be ‘hard pressed’ by Ryan Moore whilst Seamie Heffernan rode a noticeably sympathetic finish on Port Douglas. The stewards questioned whether ‘team tactics’ had been employed.
US Army Ranger has only run twice. He won his maiden over a mile and a quarter at the Curragh readily in April needing only Moore’s hands and heels. Moore said after Chester that US Army Ranger was babyish and would learn a lot from the run. He will need to if he is to emulate his sire Galileo’s success at Epsom. Ryan Moore’s assistance has to boost his chances but we will look elsewhere for this preview’s betting tip.
Port Douglas (16/1) is a more exposed type rated 3lb higher than US Army Ranger. In his five runs as a two-year-old he won his maiden first time out over seven furlongs but was a beaten favourite in his next two runs. Punters had given up on him by the time he took the Group 2 Beresford Stakes at the Curragh in first time blinkers at 14/1 in September on good ground.
A month later Port Douglas was beaten five lengths by Marcel in the Racing Post Trophy on good to soft. The Chester Vase was his seasonal debut so he is entitled to come on for that run. It is worth noting that he was wearing a tongue tie for the first time and cheekpieces rather than blinkers. If the tongue tie has helped his breathing he could spring a surprise. It will be blinkers again as well as the tongue tie for this race. He has to have serious each-way claims at the very least.
Aidan O’Brien also sends out Deauville (9/1), whom the handicapper rates the highest of the Ballydoyle bunch at 113. Bred by Fitri Hay and carrying her pink colours (although ‘the lads’ now have a major share), Deauville was runner-up beaten a quarter of a length by Wings Of Desire on his seasonal debut in the Dante. He was wearing a tongue tie for the first time too.
Deauville is a class act who won a Group 3 over seven furlongs and was runner-up to Foundation in the Royal Lodge Stakes last year but O’Brien is adamant that he must have good ground. If the tongue tie has made a difference perhaps it will be less important to him now. Ryan Moore partnered Deauville in the Dante and the Royal Lodge. Jamie Spencer will ride him for the first time here.
Shogun (40/1) and Idaho (16/1) complete the Ballydoyle quintet. They finished second and third respectively behind Jim Bolger’s Moonlight Magic (12/1) in a derby trial at Leopardstown in early May. It was run over a mile and a quarter on decent ground.
Idaho has not been seen since. He finished a close second to Harzand (12/1) over course and distance a month earlier on heavy ground. This will be his fifth start. Seamie Heffernan will partner him for the second time.
Shogun, the only Ballydoyle contender not sired by Galileo, is a son of Fastnet Rock. He has had a busier campaign. He finished fifth, beaten 11 lengths in the Irish 2,000 Guineas only a fortnight ago. Donnacha O’Brien, Joseph’s little brother, should have a decent spin round on him.
O’Brien has five Derby victories to his name, including three of the past four renewals, but all bar one of his winners were sent off shorter than 4/1. Ruler Of The World was the 7/1 exception. A late plunge on any of O’Brien’s bunch is worth noting.
Sir Michael Stoute has scored five times in the Epsom Derby too. He is reportedly uncharacteristically positive about Ulysses’ (7/1) chances. Yet another representative of Galileo, this colt has the best pedigree of the lot to get the job done. His dam Light Shift won the Oaks – on good to soft – for Sir Henry Cecil in 2007.
The fly in the ointment is that Ulysses only won his maiden on May 13. It was his third run, he was expected to win and he won easily by eight lengths under the ubiquitous Ryan Moore. That was over a mile and a quarter at Newbury. This is the Derby. If a maiden over fences can win the Grand National it does not take a leviathan leap of faith to believe that a beautifully bred recent winner of a maiden can take the Derby. Andrea Atzeni is understandably delighted to get the ride.
Another trainer with Derby form is Andre Fabre. He only sends horses to Epsom if he thinks they can win and has had very few runners. Pour Moi fulfilled his expectations five years ago. Can Cloth Of Stars (7/1) do the same and emulate his sire, Sea The Stars? His dam, Strawberry Fledge, is a full sister to Light Shift. The genes are encouraging. The form is too.
Cloth Of Stars has won four of his six starts and is unbeaten in his two runs this season. He kicked off with a win in a Group 3 at Saint-Cloud in early April over a mile and a quarter on heavy ground. He followed up with a Group 2 victory over course and distance on good ground in early May. He beat Harry Dunlop’s talented Robin Of Navan by two and a half lengths and pricked his ears after crossing the line. There was probably more fuel left in the tank.
Cloth Of Stars was beaten by Robin Of Navan twice in Group races last season but Fabre believes this colt, owned by Godolphin, has strengthened significantly this year. The form backs his theory up. He also admits that Cloth Of Stars does not have the turn of foot of Pour Moi but has a high cruising speed. He will be ridden by his regular pilot, Mickael Barzalona.
Dante form is usually significant in the Derby and John Gosden’s winner, Wings Of Desire (9/2), stands a very decent chance of providing his trainer with a second consecutive Derby victory. Owned and bred by Lady Banford, Wings Of Desire was not expected to do so well at York. He was sent off at 9/1 and, despite taking a strong hold early on, got the better of Deauville.
Wings Of Desire did not race as a juvenile but finished third on his debut over a mile and a quarter at Newmarket in mid April. Later that month this son of Pivotal was expected to win at Wolverhampton over a mile and a half and duly delivered.
Gosden was pleased with the way Wings Of Desire coped with Epsom at ‘Breakfast with the Stars’ and believes he has the all important balance and agility to cope with the course. This will be only his fourth start but Frankie Dettori knows exactly how to ride Epsom.
Our Preview’s Epsom Derby Betting Tips Verdict
This is an extraordinarily open affair with no star horse to beat. Throw give in the ground into the equation and the 2016 Epsom Derby starts to resemble a lottery.
Top notch trainers have a habit of winning this race, putting the inexperienced Ulysses and Wings Of Desire firmly on the list. Aidan O’Brien’s Port Douglas looks interesting each-way but Andre Fabre’s Cloth Of Stars looks more likely to cope with conditions than most.