Epsom Derby: The BIG Preview

The Derby is upon us, some call it the greatest race in the world and others don’t! What can be agreed on, is that it is brilliant. A field of twenty runners go to post for the classic, in a wide open renewal of the Epsom spectacle! Our exclusive guide to the big race is here, and you can read our tips for the whole card on the site too.

Cracksman out to replicate 2015 hero Golden Horn for dream duo Gosden and Dettori

John Gosden’s Cracksman wears the same colours and runs for the same connections as Golden Horn who won the Derby two years ago, and enjoyed Oaks win yesterday.

He’s won both starts, including winning the Derby trial at this track; hunting down Permian in the closing stages, who has since won the Dante.

The three-year-old has done nothing wrong to date, and is still progressing. But this is a serious ask for an inexperienced colt.

Cliffs Of Moher fronts Ballydoyle raid

Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore are a perfect combination, and they team up with Dee Stakes winner Cliffs Of Moher.

He won it in good style, and shaped as if he would improve from the run at Chester.

He’s decently bred, but there are a few question marks about whether he will get the trip.

O’Brien’s Capri renewals rivalry with Douglas Macarthur at Epsom

Capri finishing second behind Douglas Macarthur

Despite Douglas Mcarthur celebrating the victory in the Derrinstown Derby Trial, it is Capri who is expected to turn the form in the Derby.

Capri will relish the soft ground, and every inch that falls on the Surrey track will benefit him. He’s posted some strong form, will appreciate the step up in trip, and should play a leading role.

Douglas Mcarthur is a half-brother to Oaks winner Was, and looks to also be a strong contender for Ballydoyle.

Venice Beach aims to replicate 2013 Derby hero Ruler of the World

Aidan O’Brien celebrated Derby success with second-string Ruler Of The World in 2013, who had previously won the Chester Vase.

Venice Beach enjoyed a victory in the same race, and the half-brother to the great Danedream has been impressive when winning his last two starts.

But the three-year-old may be more of a stayer in the long term, and has a bit to prove in a classy renewal in the Derby.

In the same colours Wings Of Eagles and The Anvil all have a big ask to turn around the form.

Solution hopes to Best for Godolphin

Best Solution picked up well in the Lingfield Derby, running out an encouraging winner and making him the leading contender for the Godolphin team.

Despite the disappointment of Sir John Lavery in the race, he finished strongly to suggest he will have a good chance in the Derby.

This is another step-up in class, and he may have the ability to win this.

Saeed Bin Suroor’s Dubai Thunder searches for Derby success on only his second start

One of the most unexposed and inexperienced contenders in recent years is Dubai Thunder, but strangely hard to ignore.

His ten length maiden success was hugely impressive at Newbury, and despite he has plenty to answer he can’t be ignored. A big gamble, and he could be anything from superstar to superflop.

The last horse to win the Derby on only a second start was Lammtarra, trained by Saeed Bin Suroor.

Frankel’s son Eminent hopes for first Craven/Derby double since 1898

Eminent won the Craven at the start of the season in impressive style, and the Derby has always been a key trial for the son of Frankel.

Martyn Meade’s three-year-old should like the conditions, and his form in Newmarket always works out quite well.

It’s a bold step-up in trip, which he may be better over.

Permian and Benbatl renew rivalry after epic Dante clash

Dante winner Permian has been spoken very highly of to HTF, you can read our story here.

The three-year-old defeated Cracksman at Epsom before earning another victory at York, he should enjoy the step up in trip and has been a consistent type for Mark Johnston.

“For any yard in the country it’s an exciting time to have a Derby entry, and one with a realistic chance” – Charlie Johnston, son of Mark

Benbatl was second in the Dante, and is thought very highly of for Godolphin. The classic is only the fourth start three-year-old but he is improving and can make a strong charge. Like others he needs to step up, but has the class to have a big chance.

Joseph O’Brien saddles Rekindling who finished fourth in the Dante, but did win a Group Three prize carrying a penalty on his penultimate start.

The Outsiders

Khalidi was a late entry, and cost trainer John Gosden £25,000 to enter him in the classic. He won at Goodwood by five lengths, which warranted his place against some of the best colts in training. If things go well for him, he could snatch some place money.

Stable rival Crowned Eagle was last seen winning narrowly at Windsor, and this requires a lot more. Glencadam Glory was a long way behind Best Solution in a trial, and it’s hard to envisage him reversing the placings.

Gosden’s five runners are completed by Pealer who stormed home in maiden company on the all-weather when last seen. None look good enough to make an impression.

Salouen will improve over the extended distance, but this quality of race might be a bit too tough for him. Although he has shown promise in pattern company.

This looks well beyond Diore Lia, but Paddy Piley is a great talent.

By @TomDenhamPhotos

VERDICT: An open Derby, but a difficult one. I’m siding with Capri for Aidan O’Brien. He’s run some good races this season, and the Derrinstown Derby Trial looks to be very strong form. I initially was hoping to see Yucatan here, I genuinely believe he will win something big this year. Capri will be best over this trip, and go well on the ground. The question is does he have the quality. I think he does, and I’m looking forward to finding out.

Dubai Thunder is my each-way fancy for the Derby. It’s a huge gamble, and maybe a little too soon; but that run was so impressive it’s hard to ignore. Especially at that price, he will win something big this year, and he’ll like any rain on the track.


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