One race dominates tomorrow’s cards, the Derby.
The racing landscape has changed over the last few decades and with Coolmore dominating classic races the complexion of the Derby has changed. Although they’ve won three of the past four renewals (and 6 of the last 9) the winners have not been consequently easier to spot with their leading lights giving way to lesser fancied rivals.
This year they run just one, a tip in itself surely, and Bolshoi Ballet has all the credentials, apart from his price which looks short enough at 13/8. He scooted away from his field, including tomorrow’s second favourite Mac Swiney, at Leopardstown last time and comes here with a solid chance and, it appears, lots of stable confidence. But the price is short enough and I think the form is slightly unproven with Mac Swiney appearing to run under par that day. Bolshoi Ballet is the likeliest winner but isn’t the best bet.
Mac Swiney bounced back to form after that Leopardstown flop, winning the Irish 1,000 Guineas from English Guineas winner Poetic Flare. That is good form and he is now a dual Group 1 winner. The run at Leopardstown still rankles a bit though and although he holds appeal I am looking elsewhere.
I don’t fancy John Leeper, much as I love his dam and the whole back story. He has a lot to find, not to say he won’t do it but can’t be having him at that price.
Mohaafeth has bags of potential but, compared to the likes of Mac Swiney, has plenty to prove still.
Hurricane Lane is really interesting, his Dante win was good and he showed lots of admirable qualities. Earlier in the week at 9/1 or so I’d have gone for him but he’s shortened up a bit since.
One Ruler is another with possibilities (only ¾ length to find with Mac Swiney on last year’s Futurity form, but he’s not guaranteed to stay.
Which leaves us with THIRD REALM (18/1 bet365). The Lingfield Derby Trial, won by Third Realm last time, is an ideal prep for this, asking many of the same questions as Epsom does. Its winners can be overlooked but the likes of Slip Anchor, High Rise, Kahyasi and Anthony Van Dyck have all taken both events.
Third Realm is by Sea The Stars out of a Mark Of Esteem mare, the same cross as Crystal Ocean and Across The Stars. Stamina won’t be a problem. He is only a couple of pounds short on ratings and is progressing rapidly. The main thing I like is the price. He has shown better form than John Leeper yet is twice the price. He and Youth Spirit (one I also think will outrun his odds) are the only two in the race to have won over the full Derby distance. And although the ground may dry out overnight/tomorrow, his Lingfield win was on soft ground.
In short he has plenty going for him yet is a bigger price than he should be so he’s the one for me with Bolshoi Ballet a big danger and Youth Spirit best of the outsiders.