Investec Derby Betting Tips 12f Epsom Saturday
The 237th renewal of the Derby looks to be one of the widest open for many years and it would come as no surprise to see the winner returned at double figures. Both Sir Michael Stoute and Aidan O’Brien are seeking an amazing sixth success in the great race so their contenders are worth serious consideration.
O’Briens Galileo colt U.S Army Ranger was prominent in the ante post market, even before making his racecourse debut, which was in the same Curragh maiden in April that Aidan had introduced his 2013 Derby winner Rule The World. Unraced as a 2yo, U.S Army Ranger was only second choice in the market behind Dermot Weld’s 11/10 favourite, Aasheq, and ran very green. However the penny dropped late on and he showed an impressive turn of speed to collar the Weld horse close home in this 10f contest which was run on an unsuitably heavy surface. Mixed messages have come from the form of the contest, but the winner did impress with that change of gear. Many were not impressed by his next performance over 12 1/2f at Chester when holding on by a short head from stable companion, Port Douglas, but his trainer didn’t share this view, pointing out how far ahead of the third the two Ballydoyle colts finished. Pilot, Moore, was also very positive, saying that the horse was still pretty green and would have learnt a lot from the contest. His dam, Moonstone, won the 2005 Irish Oaks, so with the promise of a lot more to come U.S Army Ranger has plenty to recommend him.
If Aidan chooses to run his French Guineas winner, The Gurkha, and Moore transfers his allegiance, punters take note, because that performance in France was far and away the most impressive of any 3yo colt this year. Unraced as a 2yo,he finished third on his debut over 8f at Leopardstown in April, and then won easily at Navan eleven days later. Sharply up in class next time in the Group1 Poule D’essai des Poulains, (French Guineas May 15th) he destroyed a high class field, accelerating clear inside the final furlong to win going away by 5 1/2L. The question about him is will he stay? By Galileo, who has already sired three Derby winners, there is no problem, but on the distaff there are questions to be answered. His dam Chintz, by Danehill Dancer was best at 7f and neither of her two previous offspring by Galileo stayed beyond a mile. However The Gurkha certainly wasn’t stopping at the end of that 1600m race in France and it was a stunning performance.
Sir Michael Stoute’s colt Ulysses, has been all the rage in recent weeks and we have seen his price plunge from 50/1 to 7/1. It would be great to see the veteran trainer, whose star has been in decline in recent years, bring up the six timer, and with this very progressive son of Galileo it is certainly possible. Out of the 2007 Oaks winner, Light Shift he is certainly bred to win a Derby but there were few signs of future glory in his first two races, at Newbury last October, and at Leicester in April. Last time however at Newbury, May 13th he looked a bit special when trotting up by 8L at odds of 4/11. Saturday represents a huge step up in class, but in the hands of maestro Stoute it will come as no surprise to see this colt involved at the business end.
Jim Bolger, who won with New Approach in 2008, is quite bullish about his Cape Cross colt, Moonlight Magic. He won both starts as a 2yo and was sent off at 3/1 for his seasonal debut, but unsuited by the heavy ground finished 5th of seven. Four weeks later he was sent off at 6/1 for the Derrinstown stud Derby trial at Leopardstown and in a battling performance got the better of the O’Brien pair, Shogun and Idaho. The “Derrinstown” has provided three previous winners of the Derby, High Chaparall, Galileo, and Sindar, and last years winner, Fame and Glory, finished second at Epsom. Bolger compares his well balanced colt favourably with his previous “Derrinstown” winner St Jovite (1992) at this stage of his career, high praise indeed! His breeding leaves nothing to be desired as his sire Cape Cross has already got the winner of 21 Group1 races worldwide, including the Oaks and multiple Group1 winner, Ouija Board, and the two Derby winners, Sea the Stars (2009) and Golden Horne last year. The dam, Melikah, is a real blue blood. She is a daughter of the 1995 Derby winner Lammtara and out of that brood mare celebrity, Urban Sea, dam of Galileo and Sea the Stars. Given decent ground at the weekend Jim Bolger’s Colt is well worth considering.
John Gosden is trying for two in a row with his Pivotal colt Wings of Desire, and he is another unraced as a 2yo. Only third on his racecourse debut in April, he won a Class5 contest on the all weather at Wolverhampton ten days later, hardly the preparation you would expect for an aspiring Derby winner. However his Epsom prospects took a giant leap forwards when winning the Dante Stakes at York nineteen days later, beating Deauville and Foundation who had fought out the finish of last years Royal lodge. It is worth noting that Midterm, the 5/4 favourite sustained an injury during the course of the race and was never in contention. Stamina shouldn’t be a problem as the dams two previous foals by Pivotal stayed really well, The Lark won the 14f Parkhill stakes, and Eagle Top won the Group2 12f King Edward V11 Stakes.
Selection : U.S Army Ranger
E.W. : Moonlight Magic