Epsom Derby Preview
Aidan O’Brien sends out five runners in a bid to thwart Godolphin’s brilliant 2000 Guineas winner Dawn Approach as he steps up to a mile and a half for the first time. Battle Of Marengo has long been regarded as O’Brien’s main challenger and was a comfortable winner of the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown.
Joseph O’Brien rides the stable number one with Ruler Of The World (Ryan Moore) and Mars (Richard Hughes) thought to be the best of his other runners.
Ruler Of The World is proven over the distance but would probably want it softer whilst Mars stayed on without ever threatening to get involved in the Guineas. Festive Cheer and Flying The Flag will need to step up considerably on their previous efforts.
The home defence is led by Libertarian who was a shock 33-1 winner of the Dante Stakes at York. If he could win the Derby he would become the first Yorkshire-trained winner since Dante himself back in 1945! The York form is difficult to weigh up but Libertarian looks certain to stay and could reward each-way support.
France and Germany each have a strong representative that have added much needed quality to the race. Andre Fabre won the Derby with Pour Moi in 2011 and he relies on Ocovango. He looks guaranteed to stay and could give a fairytale winning ride to Pierre-Charles Boudot on his first visit to Epsom.
Chopin is the best colt in Germany but has yet to prove that he stays beyond a mile. If he does, he will be a threat to them all. Sheikh Fahad Al Thani has purchased the colt for Qatar Racing and paid £75,000 to supplement him for this race.
Galileo Rock has been supported each-way this week in anticipation of a good run. He finished ahead of Libertarian at Sandown and is bred to stay extreme distances. Mirsaale has won at the course but looks outclassed and Ocean Tempest is yet to win in fifteen attempts.