16:30 Epsom – The Derby
Inaugurated in 1780 the Derby is a Group 1 race for three year old thorougbred Colts and Fillies, more commonly known as the classic generation. Raced over a trip of one mile, four furlongs and six yards it is the middle leg of the triple crown, preceded by the 2,000 Guineas and followed by Doncaster’s St Leger. Raced annually on the first weekend of June on the notorious Epsom Downs, The Derby is Britain’s richest race and one of the most popular races in the world of flat racing. Often described as the hardest classic to win due to the unique nature of the track, the forecast soft ground will make this years renewal as severe as any in recent times.
Likely favourite Saxon Warrior is unbeaten in four career starts and showed a good attitude when winning the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket in May. Prior to that he had out-battled the re-opposing Roaring Lion en route to landing the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy as a two year old. Exclusively raced at one mile to date this step up in trip poses a slight question of his stamina however he has always looked very strong at the end of his races and trainer Aidan O’Brien has saddled the winner of the race on six occasions.
Chester racecourse holds a trial of sorts for this race and the inexperienced Young Rascal produced a very pleasing display when winning it. With only three starts to his name it would be fair to say he must find significant improvement to play a part today, he does look an exciting type though and his proven effectiveness on soft ground is a major positive which ensures he finds himself well in the mix.
The aforementioned Roaring Lion flopped on his first two starts of the season over one mile and was sent to York for the Dante with major questions to answer. Sent off as favourite that day it has to be said he produced a quite sensational performance and dispelled any stamina doubts. Looking at his two year old form it is worth noting that he only has a neck to find with the favourite, whether he can further bridge that gap is open to debate though but he certainly deserves respect.
Sevenna Star won the Classic Trial at Sandown last time when just getting up on the line. Despite that performance being some way short of what you would expect from a future Derby winner it appeared that John Gosden’s charge was in desperate need of a sterner test. Proven on desperate ground and with much more emphasis on stamina today, there is every reason to hope more is to come. Without wanting to put anyone off Saxon Warrior, it is Sevenna Star who looks a much more intriguing bet for each way punters.
SEVENNA STAR (E/W)
14:00 Epsom – Connect (E/W)
14:35 Epsom – Wilamina (WIN) – NAP
15:10 Epsom – Breton Rock (WIN)
15:45 Epsom – Caspian Prince (E/W)
written by Chris Connolly