Epsom Derby - Race Preview
The highlight of the flat racing season is the Epsom Derby, and this weekend 12 runners will go to post with the hope of writing their name in the history books. The final field looks competitive, and we have many good trial winners coming here to find out which horse is the best mile and a half horse in the United Kingdom.
Aidan O’Brien saddles five out of the 12 runners in the race, so he is likely to have a very big say in what happens on Saturday. However, the draw has given him plenty to think about after race favourite and his number one hope Saxon Warrior was drawn in stall one. That is far from ideal, and made even worse by the fact that his two probable pacemakers are drawn on the outside in stalls 11 and 12. Tactics are usually crucial to the chances of a Ballydoyle winner, and that is going to be the case even more so on Saturday, with the gap between their runners. Horses have won from stall 1 in the past, a total of three Derby runners have done that, but it is far from ideal and to overcome the draw Saxon Warrior will have to be top class.
Something else to go against Saxon Warrior is the ground, which has softened up due to the recent rain in the area. The going on the day looks likely to be good to soft, something that won’t suit Saxon Warrior amongst other horses. Roaring Lion and Masar are both fancied to run well on Saturday, but they have slight stamina doubts hanging over them and the soft ground will not help them get home so they too are likely to be inconvenienced.
When looking down the field, with soft ground a genuine possibility it is important to find a horse that you can be sure will get the trip. While many look like they will get the trip, just two horses have a distance win at the side of their name. Young Rascal won the Chester trial over the distance and Knight To Behold won the Lingfield trial over the distance, and they are the only two to do it. What is equally as significant is the tracks that those two have won around. Lingfield is very similar to Epsom which should give Knight To Behold a taste of what is to come, while Chester is also a good track to run as a Derby warm-up. While the course is different, Chester makes horses think as they navigate their way around in the same way that Epsom does.
Of those two runners, Young Rascal has also shown that he acts on soft ground, which is another positive in his favour. He has just three runs to his name, so there is more to come from this lovely colt and he is an exciting prospect whether he wins or loses on Saturday. He came 2nd in a strong maiden on debut on soft ground, won nicely on good to soft on his second start and then won the Chester trial on good in his most recent start. He is guaranteed to stay the trip, and will like the soft ground so there is a lot to like about Young Rascal based on the likely race conditions we are going to see on Saturday.
Saxon Warrior the current favourite does have a lot going against him, but one thing he will like is the ground. He has group race wins to his name on both soft and good to soft, so the ground holds no fears. The question mark over the distance on this type of going does remain though, and that will be the biggest worry for punters who back him going into the race, along with the draw.
Epsom Derby Bet
The recent rain has thrown the Derby up in the air, and there are many runners heading to Epsom with question marks hanging over them. However, there is one horse that appears to have no question marks over him and that is Young Rascal. He is a horse I really like, and one that looks sure to improve throughout the season with just three runs under his belt so far. 10/1 with betfair and looks to be a cracking each way bet ahead of the race on Saturday. He won’t mind more rain, but will equally be at home if the ground dries up a little, and he looks to have a great chance on Saturday.
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