An Early Look Ahead To The Epsom Derby

An Early Look Ahead To The Epsom Derby

The Investec Derby Stakes - one of Great Britain's most iconic and traditional spectacles in the horse racing calendar, is a Group One contest on the flat specifically designed for three-year-old thoroughbred colts, over the mile-and-a-half distance.

Stepping up from the mile trip from the Guineas meeting in early May, the Derby forms leg two of the Colts Triple Crown - followed by the St Leger at Doncaster.

Along with the Investec Oaks; equivalent for the fillies over the same trip, this race encourages a further test on stamina and longevity for the runners involved, half-circling Epsom's jerky and rugged contours.

Run typically on the first Saturday of June each year, it is Britain's richest horse race, and the most prestigious of the five Classics - even referred to as the "Blue Riband" of the turf.

One of Britain's great national sporting events, it has a magnificent following around the world.

This year's renewal - which will takes place on the very 1st of June, could see one of the biggest fields numbers wise declared in the last few years, and greatest in terms of quality.

Yards from Britain, Ireland and France all remain in tact for the emblematic Group One, which currently has been blown wide open after Lord Lloyd Webber's Champion Two-Year-Old Too Darn Hot will miss the coveted event, after failing to handle the step-up in trip in the Dante at York.

Telecaster prevailed for Hughie Morrison and Oisin Murphy on the Knavesmire ahead of last season's Dewhurst winner, and as a result, trainer John Gosden confirmed the son of Dubawi will lower back to a mile to compete in the St James's Palace at Royal Ascot.

(Credit - Racing TV)

Connections may opt to try again in the future, but a horse of that calibre cannot dawdle in terms of trip, and all involved will expect a return to form back down to seven or eight furlongs - not that he ran badly in the Group Two contest by any means.

Hughie Morrison did not pay the initial pre-forfeit fee to keep Telecaster in the Derby over a week ago however, and will need to get his owners to stump up a hefty fee of approximately £80,000 should they want to compete at Epsom - Slalom and Cap Francais are others in the field that will need to be supplemented.

It was a very taking performance from the three-year-old, who finished second to the Andrew Balding-trained Bangkok on debut at Doncaster; who won the bet365 Classic Trial at Sandown, begging the question of how good he is given the job Telecaster has done since.

Bangkok represents a number of leading chances for the Brits, along with Roger Varian's exciting young Surfman, who finished third in the Dante and ran on with great credit.

The Dante could be a contest we look back on at the end of the season as a race that produced several subsequent stars, and the son of Kingman could certainly be just that.

Prior to York, he was two from three (third on debut), after winning by a fourteen-length margin in a Novice Stakes at Newcastle over ten furlongs, demonstrating to all his potential.

He could suit the potential step-up to a mile-and-a-half, likewise for Guineas runner-up King Of Change, who was the second Richard Hannon horse to outrun odds of 66/1 in a Guineas meeting in the last twelve months.


Godolphin won the race with Masar last year - who is yet to reappear from injury since. The boys in blue have two possible chances trained by Charlie Appleby; Al Hilalee and Line Of Duty who will both need to be back at their best.

John Gosden - without Too Darn Hot, does have the intriguing Dubai Warrior who could be something special, but has been absent since his impressive debut win at Chelmsford through injury. Humanitarian is another.

As for the rest of the field, it is all about the Master of Ballydoyle Aidan O'Brien, who could have an Epsom Derby to himself, with so many runners and so many possible chances.

It's a wonder why anyone else really bothers - in fact, he currently trains four of the first five in the market, and at one stage before York's latest meeting, had seven of the first eight.

His chances commence with Broome, who is two from two this season twice amongst Group Three level, both in Derby Trials on varying ground at Leopardstown.


Broome was second in a Group One at the Arc meeting at Longchamp in October, and has been considered the yard's favourite for this.

That may have come after Sir Dragonet - another horse who would need to be supplemented to race in this, has the opportunity to race over in France instead, where O'Brien has found another suitable race for the three-year-old after his two immaculate displays in the last month.

He won the Chester Vase over a mile-and-a-half by eight widening lengths, having been held up by Donnacha O'Brien early on, beating stablemate Norway who is still involved here.

Away from Chester, Anthony Van Dyck showcased his claims with an emphatic victory at Lingfield, whilst Japan ran on well to finish fourth in the Dante and could be capable of further down the line.

Circus Maximus and Cape Of Good Hope - also winners in Derby Trials this term, could and should be involved in this.

It will be the 239th running of the Epsom Derby in under a fortnight's time, and we are in for another cracker.

Free Bets & Offers

Bet £5 & Get £20 FREE BETS! 😍
Claim Bonus
Sign-up via Mobile using promo code N40 and place a bet of £10/€10 or more and we will give you 4x £10/€10 free bets. By entering the Promo code in the box above you agree to the full terms and conditions of this promotion as displayed below. See full terms below.
Claim Bonus

🏆 £20 Risk Free First Bet - Money Back in CASH 🏆
New customers only, limited to one per person. If you’ve previously had a Paddy Power account, you will not qualify for the offer. Place your first bet on any Sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £/€20. Only deposits made using Cards or Paypal will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
🟠 £40 Welcome Bonus! 🟠
18+/New depositing customers on only/11.02.20 - until further notice/First deposit min. £10/Qualifying accumulator bet with min. stake of £10 and min. 2 selections with min. odds of 1/2 (1.50) per selection/Bonus: 50% of the stake of the qualifying bet/Max bonus £40, credited once the qualifying bet has settled/Bonus wagering requirements: x6 on min. odds of 1/2 (1.50) as a single bet, or 1/2 (1.50) per selection as part of an accumulator bet. Bonus valid for any sports, for 7 days. Deposit method restrictions apply./ Full T&Cs apply/
Claim Bonus
🔴 Bet £10, Get £20 in free bets! 🔴
New members. £10 min deposit & bet on sportsbook, placed & settled at 1.5 min odds within 14 days of sign-up. Win part of E/W bets. 2 non-withdrawable £10 Free Bet Tokens: accept in 7 days, valid for 7 days from acceptance (ex. E/Ws & Multiples), stakes not returned. Click here for Rules & Exclusions. Bet Responsibly. 18+
Claim Bonus
New customers only. Deposit £20 using Debit Card or Trustly. Up to your first £20 of losses will be refunded as CASH within 24 hours of qualifying bet having been settled. T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
100% Welcome Bonus Up To £50 🙌
The offer is available to new players who made their first deposit. Enter bonus code TONY50 and wager your deposit 10 times on betting markets with odds of at least 1.65 within 30 days. 18+ T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
🏆 £20 Risk Free First Bet - Money Back in CASH 🏆
New customers only, limited to one per person. If you’ve previously had a Betfair account, you will not qualify for the offer. Place your first bet on any Sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £/€20. Only deposits made using Cards or Paypal will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
🟠 Bet £10 Get £30 + £10 casino bonus! 🟠
New customers only – Minimum deposit of £10 using deposit code 30F - A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 placed on any sports market - Minimum odds of 1/2 (1.5) - Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days - Free bet stakes not included in returns - Deposit method and withdrawal restrictions apply & Full T&C’s apply
Claim Bonus
BET £10 & GET A £10 FREE BET! 💪
New UK customers only. £10 Min Deposit. 100% matched free bet on your first deposit of £10. 1 x wagering at odds of 1.75+ to unlock Free Bets. Debit Card deposits only. This offer is valid for 7 days from your new account being registered. Full Terms apply. 18+. Bet The Responsible Way.
Claim Bonus
⚡️Get up to £100 in Bet Credits⚡️
New Customers only. Up to £100* in Bet Credits. Sign up, deposit £5* or more to your account and bet365 will match your qualifying deposit in Bet Credits when you place qualifying bets to the same value and they are settled. Min odds/bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. T&Cs, time limits & exclusions apply.
Claim Bonus
🌟 Bet £10 & Get £20 in Bonuses 🌟
18+ New Customers only. Deposit, opt in and place a £10 qualifying bet at odds of 2.00 or greater within 7 days of opening a new account; excludes cashed out bets. Receive a £10 Free Sports Bets, valid on set events only at odds 2.00 or greater, expires in 7 days.  Plus a £10 Game Show Bonus, selected games, wager 40x to withdraw a max of £250. T&Cs Apply. Please Gamble Responsibly.
Claim Bonus
When The Fun Stops. Stop.