Non-Runner No Bet on the Derby and Oaks!
Coral, the Official Betting Partner of the Investec Derby Festival 2013, are among the first to offer Non-Runner/No Bet terms on the Epsom classics this season. 12 horses remain in the Oaks with Ralph Beckett’s impressive Lingfield trial winner Secret Gesture currently the 5-2 favourite. She will be ridden by Jim Crowley with stable companion Talent, winner of the Pretty Polly Stakes at Newmarket, the mount of Richard Hughes.
The main market rival to Secret Gesture is Aidan O’Brien’s Moth who stayed on strongly into third place in the 1000 Guineas behind Sky Lantern. The form received a boost with the victory of Newmarket runner-up Just The Judge in the Irish equivalent on Sunday. Sir Michael Stoute has a high opinion of Musidora winner Liber Nauticus whilst Hughie Morrison has supplemented Chester winner Banoffee.
Running plans for the Derby are less certain after Magician’s runaway victory in the Irish 2000 Guineas on Saturday. The colt is one of six that O’Brien still has in the race but he will not make a final decision on his participation until later in the week. O’Brien’s other leading candidates are Battle Of Marengo, Ruler Of The World and Mars.
Hot favourite for the race is 2000 Guineas winner Dawn Approach, bidding to give Sheikh Mohammed his first Epsom Derby success. The colt was so impressive at Newmarket that connections have decided to take a gamble on his ability to last the extra half-mile that he must travel on Saturday.
There is also a strong overseas challenge with Ocovango representing France and Chopin travelling over from Germany. Both colts won their trials in good style and are expected to put up a bold show. The best of a surprisingly weak home defence is York winner Libertarian, trained at Middleham by Elaine Burke.
Derby declarations: Battle Of Marengo, Chopin, Magician, Flying The Flag, Ruler Of The World, Mars, Festive Cheer, Mirsaale, First Cornerstone, Ocean Applause, Libertarian, Ocovango, Galileo Rock & Trading Leather.