Epsom Derby Betting Preview
Following last week’s success in the Irish 2,000 Guineas on board Power, Joseph O’Brien is preparing for an even bigger stage when the Epsom Derby takes centre stage this Saturday. Riding the red-hot favourite Camelot for his father Aidan, 19-year-old Joseph showed his capabilities in the saddle when producing the unbeaten three-year-old late in the English 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket last month. The Andrew Balding-trained Bonfire looks the most likely danger to Camelot after a cosy win in the Dante Stakes at York and he may be a valuable alternative at much longer odds. Get a free £25 bet on this race from William Hill.
The Group 1 event, which is run over 1m4f, is Britain’s richest race and the most prestigious of all the five classics in the Flat season. Mickael Barzalona’s expertly cool ride on the Andre Fabre-trained Pour Moi 12 months ago, where the young Frenchman completed a remarkable come back from last to first in the final straight, provided an iconic image for the 2011 Derby. And there is no reason to suggest why Joseph O’Brien can add to his already glittering portfolio with arguably his toughest assignment to date.
Camelot’s neck victory over French Fifteen in the 2,000 Guineas was most impressive considering he was still left with plenty to do 2f from home. As a two-year-old the Ballydoyle stable star easily won his Leopardstown maiden before going on to land the honours in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster. Currently installed as the 8-11 market leader, Camelot looks in no hurry to relinquish his untarnished record any time soon and is certainly the most likely winner of the race.
But the aforementioned Bonfire has done things nicely too on route to the Epsom centre piece, albeit with a little less vigour. It is difficult to assess his only defeat at Saint-cloud in France and he was probably unlucky not to finish closer to eventual winner French Fifteen when short of room entering the straight. His ¾ length win in the Dante was hard-fought but in the end he won a shade cosily from the one-paced Ektihaam in second. Whether or not he has the star quality to edge out Camelot remains to be seen, but he is certainly the pick of the challengers at 5/1.
David Lanigan’s Main Sequence is interesting and is yet to taste defeat in his four career outings so far. On his seasonal reappearance, the three-year-old colt scored by a ½ length in a competitive 0-95 Handicap over 1m2f. Next time on the all-weather at Lingfield in the Derby Trial Stakes, he again flashed his tail under pressure but ran on well in the hands of pilot Ted Durcan. With further improvement likely Main Sequence has place claims but will need to step up on his two previous efforts to worry Camelot.
Of the rest Camelot’s two stalemate’s Astrology and Imperial Monarch could get into things if Aidan O’Brien’s first string does not put his best foot forward. The former was a nice winner at Chester’s May meeting last month, while the latter forged clear in the final 75 yards at Sandown at the end of April to suggest he might be another horse on the upgrade.
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