Top racing analyst Alan Kelly runs the rule over Saturday’s Investec Derby runners in his betting guide ahead of a fantastic renewal of the Epsom classic.
1. AROD – Trained by Peter Chapple-Hyam responsible for previous winners Dr Devious ( 1992 ) and Authorized ( 2007 ) this improving son of Teofilo booked his ticket for Epsom when finishing second to The Great Gatsby ( last week’s French Derby winner ) in York’s Betfred Dante Stakes. Will need to improve again but going in the right direction and looks sure to give Jamie Spencer a good ride. 16-1 Generally including with Coral and William Hill.
2. AUSTRALIA – Described by connections as possibly the best horse trained by the multiple-Classic winning Aidan O’Brien and his close third behind Night Of Thunder and Kingman in the Qipco 2000 Guineas entitles the Galileo colt to go off favourite but at a top price 17-10 with Betbright offers nothing in the way of value in what looks an open renewal on paper. He may turn out to be a superstar in the making but has to be opposed on what he has achieved so far.
3. EBANORAN – Despite being by the sprinter Oasis Dream there are no stamina doubts as he is out of the Group 1 winning mare Ebadiyla who had winning form at the highest level over 1m 7f. Trained by Sea The Stars handler John Oxx Ebanoran was disqualified from first place in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Lepoardstown when interfering with both the second and third home but showed a fine turn of foot to take up the running inside the last two furlongs and looks a leading player over the extra two furlongs. 16-1 Generally, including with Bet365, Stan James and Ladbrokes.
4. FASCINATING ROCK – Awarded Derrinstown on disqualification of Ebanoran after winning the Group 3 Ballysax Stakes at Navan in April but Dermot Weld’s colt may struggle to confirm that Leopardstown form over the extra two furlongs despite looking a leading contender. 16-1 With Coral.
5. GEOFFREY CHAUCER – Badly hampered when third behind Ebanoran and Fascinating Rock in Derrinstown and looks sure to improve for the run. The son of Montjeu has been the subject of encouraging reports of late and with stamina unlikely to be an issue the mount of Ryan Moore has to be on any short list but is now a single-figure price after being available at 16-1 a couple of weeks ago. 8-1 With Skybet, Boylesports and Betvictor.
6. IMPULSIVE MOMENT – A fair second to Western Hymn in Sandown’s Bet365 Classic Trial and Andrew Balding’s Galileo colt could outrun his huge price but hard to see him being concerned in the finish. 100-1 With several firms including Bet365 and Coral.
7. KINGFISHER – A length winner over Bow Creek in Chester’s Dee Stakes but that looked a moderate trial and Aidan O’Brien’s colt could be there to ensure a decent pace for the stable’s better fancied runners. 66-1 Stan James, Coral and William Hill.
8. KINGSTON HILL – One of last season’s leading two-year-olds after winning Doncaster’s Group 1 Racing Post Trophy and despite only eighth in the Qipco 2000 Guineas there was a lot to like about that run and with both the distance and the easy ground sure to favour the son of Mastercraftsman Roger Varian’s colt is one of the most likely winners should Australia fail to live up to expectations. 7-1 generally.
9. ORCHESTRA – Looks the third string of Aidan O’Brien’s four runners but nothing wrong with his Chester Vase nose win over fellow rival Romsdal. The third horse was eight lengths away on that occasion and the form could turn out to be better than thought at the time. The trip and the likely ground hold no fears and Seamie Heffernan’s mount is certainly no no-hoper. 14-1 With most bookmakers including Paddy Power, Bet365 and Betvictor.
10. OUR CHANNEL – Made all to win Epsom’s Investec Derby Trial in April but that looked pretty ordinary form and it will be a massive surprise if this one is in the winner’s enclosure just after 4.00 pm on Saturday afternoon. 125-1 With Stan James.
11. PINZOLO – A decent middle-distance performer but has been found wanting at a higher level and could run well but hard to see James Doyle’s mount finishing in the frame. 66-1 With Bet365 and Stan James.
12. RED GALILEO – Would be one of the biggest surprises in the history of this great race should this exposed son of Dubawi get his head in front. More likely to finish last than first. 150-1 With Betvictor, Stan James and Ladbrokes.
13. ROMSDAL – Just touched off by Orchestra in Chester Vase and connections have stumped up £75,000 to supplement the John Gosden-trained colt for the race so no forlorn hope and has the services of champion jockey Richard Hughes. 25-1 With Skybet, Betvictor, Ladbrokes and William Hill.
14. SUDDEN WONDER – 2008 Derby-winning jockey Kevin Manning booked for this Godolphin colt who finished third behind Snow Sky ( misses race due to minor injury ) in Lingfield’s Derby Trial last month. Was staying on best of all there and at a huge price could prove best of the long shots. 66-1 With Bet365 among others.
15. TRUE STORY – Hugely impressive when winning at Newmarket back in April, a run which promoted the son of Manduro to second favourite for Epsom but blotted his copybook when only third in York’s Dante Stakes. With the form of that race taking a significant boost of late Kieren Fallon’s mount could easily bounce back on better ground over a longer trip. 12-1 Skybet, Boylesports and Ladbrokes.
16. WESTERN HYMN – Unbeaten son of Derby winner High Chaparral. John Gosden’s colt was most impressive when beating Snow Sky at Newbury in April and despite winning Sandown’s Bet365 Classic Trial was all out to get the better of the opposition. Probably better than the bare form and could easily be a big player. 16-1 Betvictor.
SUMMARY – A fascinating renewal of the world’s most famous Flat race which revolves around the Aidan O’Brien colt Australia who, if the hype is to be believed, could turn out to be another outstanding winner for Ballydoyle. Should the son of Galileo fail to fulfil the expectations of connections the race looks a wide-open affair. Having selected GEOFFREY CHAUCER at 16-1 as the best ante-post value some time ago it could pay to have each-way saver’s on EBANORAN at 16-1 and SUDDEN WONDER at a huge 66-1. The former produced a fine turn of foot at Leopardstown last time and may have been unlucky to lose the race in the stewards’ room while the latter will be staying on at the finish and could run into a place at a big price.