BetVictor.com’s Jack Milner takes aim at the Derby and fires one up for us
Aidan O’Brien holds all the aces in this year’s Investec Derby with 7 of this year’s 19-runner field represented by the Master of Ballydoyle and Ryan Moore, two-time Derby winning rider, legged-up on 4/1 joint-favourite Cliffs of Moher. The vibes from the yard haven’t been as strong as connections’ previous Derby contenders however, and I’m more inclined to side with John Gosden’s Cracksman (4.30) bidding to give the mighty Frankel a classic winner with his first crop of 3yos.
The selection made an impressive debut last term at Newmarket, and looked to have learnt plenty from his winning reappearance in the Derby Trial at Epsom. He travelled well when doing a nice piece of work at Breakfast with the Stars and, with BetVictor paying four places to each way punters on the classic, I can’t see him finishing out of the frame.
Derby prices from BetVictor
Cliffs of Moher 4/1
Each Way 1/5 1-2-3-4
There are plenty of chanClarehaven with his Tartini (2.00) looking the quintessential group horse in a handicap and should land the opener from an inviting mark of 95. The well-bred colt was touted as a potential Derby horse for connections after his impressive debut last season at Nottingham, winning the same mile maiden won by the handler’s Derby and Arc winner Golden Horn. He clearly lacks the ability of that superstar but has shown glimpses of ability in Derby trials at Epsom and Lingfield and gets the nod to bounce back under Frankie Dettori.
Last year’s Princess Margaret winner Epsom Icon returns to the track named after her, with jockey Silvestre de Sousa bidding to win the race for a third consecutive year. The classic generation have won just 2 of the last 10 renewals of the Gp 3 contest but those have come in the last two year and I’m hoping Urban Fox (2.35) continues that trend under David Allan.
Trainer James Tate was bullish about his filly’s chances prior to the Fred Darling Stakes at Newbury, when running a cracking race to finish second behind John Gosden’s hot favourite Dabyah. She was far from disgraced in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket and can reward each-way support at 12/1 with BetVictor.
Sovereign Debt is riding the crest of a wave for trainer Ruth Carr but carries the burden of a penalty for his last time out success at Gp2 level at Sandown and is overlooked in favour of Andrew Balding’s Here Comes When (3.10) under Oisin Murphy. The selection made light work of a competitive handicap at York and is entitled to take his chance upped in grade.
Plenty of familiar faces in the Epsom Dash, the traditional cavalry charge before The Derby, which brings former winners Caspian Prince, Duke of Firenze and Desert Law back to lock horns once more. BetVictor are 8/1 the field with joint-favourites Duke of Firenze and El Astronaute (3.45) both respected at the head of the market and the latter marginally preferred under Jason Hart. John Quinn’s talented sprinter carries a 4lb penalty for his handicap success last month at Chester and must go close in his bid to follow-up.
They go at Doncaster where Mojito (5.40) is a confident selection to score under Robert Winston. The colt looked one to follow when shedding the maiden tag at the second time of asking last season, and ran well despite keenness on his seasonal debut last month over 7f at Haydock. He should strip fitter for that effort and is a confident selection to score, now upped in trip to a mile.
The Edinburgh Cup is one of the biggest races of the season at Musselburgh, where Sir Mark Prescott’s Albaster (3.25) appears well placed to complete the hat-trick under Luke Morris. The selection is fitted with first-time headgear after back-to-back wins on the all-weather however, remains unexposed and can defy a 6lb rise at the weights.
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