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Derby trends point to swerving the progeny of 2001 winner Galileo

This weekend sees the season’s first trial for Epsom Derby types taking place at Leopardstown when Aidan O’Brien’s Battle Of Marengo and Jim Bolger’s Trading Leather – fifth behind ante-post Derby favourite Kingsbarns in the Dewhurst last term – do battle in the Ballysax Stakes. Before the Epsom Derby betting starts fluctuating lets have a look at what the trends make of the market leaders.

Given Galileo’s status as a multiple Group 1-winning three-year-old and leading sire it may come as a surprise that his progeny have failed to make a massive mark on the Derby, a race he himself won in 2001. 16 Galileo colts have gone to post in the past decade but only New Approach has emulated the success of his father, with the just three others making the places in that time.

Such a trend offers reason to oppose three of the current four best supported horses in the Derby betting with Coral, Kingsbarns, 4/1, Telescope, 6/1, and Mars, 10/1 were sired by Galileo. 

The last 10 Derby winners were all by a sire with a stamina index – an average created from the combined distances of all wins recorded by a sire’s progeny –  of 8.3 which seemingly rules out the yet-to-be-supplemented Dawn Approach.

Jim Bolger’s colt, currently 6/4 hot-favourite for the 1000 Guineas over 1m with Coral, is by Derby Winner New Approach, a sire with a stamina index of just 8.0. Meaning the distance his progeny win over most often is 1m.

As might be expected of horses who are expected to be at their best over staying trips such as the Derby’s 1m4f, nine of the last 10 winners began their career with a race over 7f or 1m. Neither Dawn Approach nor Richard Hannon’s Toronado started off over a trip of sufficient magnitude.

It’s also worth noting that trainers rarely get assessments of their juveniles’ abilities that wrong with seven of the aforementioned nine winners starting off their careers at Group 1 hosting tracks. The Aidan O’Brien pair Kingsbarns and Mars begun their careers at the lowly outposts of Navan and Dundalk respectively.