The Derby: who’s in the reckoning?
With the 2000 Guineas behind us, Gary Sears compiles a shortlist of those who can make their mark in the Derby in a month’s time
A look at the Epsom Derby can often read like an Aidan O’Brien stable tour, such is his dominance and again this year he has any number at the head of the market although current favourite High Definition doesn’t appeal at around 3-1 given his run style as a 2yo.
Would be much more interested in VAN GOGH who garnered plenty of experience last season ending with an impressive win at Saint Cloud. Shaped ok in the 2000 Guineas, keeping on nicely and seems likely to head to Epsom.
Of those that have already had a run (and won), Bolshoi Ballet has the best form and being a prominent racer who is bred to stay looks a strong contender whilst Wordsworth could be the type to adopt the Serpentine role and would be dangerous if let loose.
Kyprios needs to show more than normal improvement and would prefer Sir Lamorak who only won a handicap last time but is miles better than that.
A couple who have yet to make their reappearance but could well figure prominently are Carlisle Bay and CLEVELAND. Both have only run in the mud so far but are likely to be better on decent ground.
Just wonder if the former may need a bit more time but Cleveland was very impressive on his third start and has been the subject of favourable comments.
Turning to the home contingent, Mohaafeth is now the shortest price following his effortless Newmarket win on Saturday but, whilst very highly regarded, still has a bit to prove; Gear Up may prefer a flatter track and Stay Well needs to improve a lot but is totally unexposed.
But of most interest are three of the Godolphin entries. Beau Nash looked good on debut and is in the Dante whilst Hurricane Lane looked a real stayer at Newbury and has the scope to improve a fair bit.
At a big price I wouldn’t be surprised if LAW OF THE SEA progressed enough to take a hand. Have been impressed with his two wins in minor company this term and looks like he will step up in class in the Chester Vase . A big run could see his odds shorten dramatically.
In summary, VAN GOGH (10-1) looks to have all the right credentials and his run in the Guineas increases confidence. CLEVELAND (16-1) could be the AO’B unexposed one to do best and LAW OF THE SEA (66-1) could be overpriced.
Good luck all
♦Gary Sears takes an early look at the Oaks with an emphasis on the breeding and a shortlist of the fillies most likely to get the 12f: