The Epsom Derby is one of the most prestigious and lucrative horse races in the world. Dating back to 1780, some of the best thoroughbred colts of all-time have tackled the undulating Surrey track, in a bid to be crowned an Epsom Derby winner.
The second classic of the season for the three-year-old colts, this is the first over an extended trip. One mile and four furlongs await a potential max field of 20 runners in this Group One race, with many who contested the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket set to step up in trip in search of more black type.
Stoute’s Colt is worthy to wear the Derby Crown
Sir Michael Stoute has saddled five previous Derby winners but not since Workforce broke the Epsom track record in 2010, where he won in a time of 2m 31.33s.
This year’s Stoute trained contender DESERT CROWN was last seen taking out the Dante Stakes at York in impressive style. Just his second start after bolting up at Nottingham on debut as a two-year-old, the antepost market protagonist is still somewhat unexposed.
Before his G2 Dante success Stoute played down his credentials saying he was only just ready in time to take in the York engagement. Now a rock solid contender for classic honours, the only question over his claims will be if he stays the two extra furlongs on a more demanding track.
Judging by what little evidence there is in the form book, the Epsom test shouldn’t catch out this smart proposition. Owned by Saeed Suhail, this could be one of Stoute’s final chances at bridging the gap to Aidan O’Brien’s record eight victories in the great race.
The Ballydoyle battalion
Aidan O’Brien has won three of out the last five runnings of the Epsom Derby, including Serpentine’s surprise 2020 triumph. Holding an unprecedented record in the classic, the Ballydoyle handler has a plethora of chances for this year’s renewal.
STONE AGE followed up his wide margin Navan success by romping the Irish Derby Trial Stakes at Leopardstown. The emphatic win firmly asserted him as one of O’Brien’s best hopes for a 10th Derby victory and in doing so gave stable jockey Ryan Moore a tough decision with which Ballydoyle representative to ride.
Chester Vase victor CHANGINGOFTHEGUARD showed a really professional attitude when scoring around the Roudee. The three-year-old entered this season as a maiden before his win at Dundalk, announcing himself as a classic challenger, and with the method of his Chester triumph he can’t be discounted to come forward again from that effort.
The last of the talking horses from Ballydoyle includes STAR OF INDIA. Another that won at Chester’s May Festival, he took out the listed Dee Stakes after disappointing in his seasonal debut in the Craven. Perhaps not the best trial before the Derby, there has been some smart types that have come out of that stakes contest, including Fighting Fifth Hurdle winner Not So Sleepy.
Godolophin double handed
The notorious all blue silks were carried to victory by Adam Kirby last term, with a chance ride for Charlie Appleby, aboard Adayar. This year, the Champion Trainer is set to have two runners for the boys in blue, firstly WALK OF STARS.
A runner-up in the Lingfield Derby Trial, he showed some signs of inexperience in the closing stages of the race. A beaten favourite that day, he won’t go unfancied for the Derby representing some strong connections.
Unbeaten after transitioning to turf, NAHANNI enhanced his chances after winning last time out at Epsom in the listed Blue Riband trial. Still completely unexposed, he bolsters a similar profile to his stablemate Adayar, making him a fascinating contender for this race.
Betting on The Epsom Derby with Tote
Tote is an excellent place to play your Derby hand!
We’ve overpaid on the Derby winner in the last three years:
Adayar 2021, SP 16/1 Tote win: £18.40
Serpentine 2020, SP 25/1 Tote win: £32.50
Anthony Van Dijk 2019, SP 13/2 Tote win: £8.30
And if you’d rather play an excotic, we’ve got some mouthwatering value to be had - just like in 2020.
The bookmakers forecast only paid £896.62, whereas the Tote Exacta returned a whopping £1643.90.