We’re just days away from a bumper day of action at Epsom, with the day of course headlined by the Derby, the biggest race of the calendar year on the flat. We’re in unprecedented times, but the flat’s blue ribband race has attracted a field of 17 runners, including antepost favourites English King and Kameko.
British Market Domination
The antepost market has been all encompassed by British pair English King and Kameko, with both being the only runners in the market at single-figure prices. Both have been declared for the contest, with Frankie Dettori’s formerly mentioned mount heading the market at a general 7/2 after blitzing the Lingfield Derby Trial.
Andrew Balding is hunting for his first Derby, like Ed Walker, and Kameko has the experience edge over his rival, winning three of his five starts, including his return in the 2000 Guineas. In terms of form, it’s impossible to argue that he’s not the standard-setter, but he does have stamina to prove, unlike English King.
O’Brien’s Battalion Revealed
Winning the Derby on seven previous occasions, Aidan O’Brien is fittingly sending seven in his quest to become the outright holder of the leading trainer tag for Britain’s flagship race. He is without Irish Derby winner Santiago, but certainly doesn’t come over without a massive chance.
It’s rare to see so many O’Brien horses at double-figure prices, such is the strength of the home team in 2020. Fourth to Kameko in last year’s Vertem Futurity Trophy, Mogul heads up his charge alongside Vatican City, who posted a career-best on return with an eye-catching second to Siskin in the Irish 2000 Guineas.
Hampton Court winner Russian Emperor, Group 2 winning juvenile Armory, Serpentine, Mythical and Amhran Na Bhifiaan head up the remainder of his charge.
Pyledriver To Deliver Knockout Blow?
Another from the strong home team to be declared is William Muir’s Pyledriver, who caused an 18/1 surprise when landing the King Edward VII at Royal Ascot. A confirmed stayer with plenty of talent, he’s got more upside than the vast majority of the field.
Paul & Oliver Cole also have an entry towards the front of the market, with the son of Gleneagles Highland Chief looking to build upon a recent Royal Ascot handicap success, where the first-time cheekpieces had a very positive effect. The question for him is whether he has the raw ability to be mixing it at a much higher level.
Declarations In Full
- Amhran Na Bhfiann (Aidan O’Brien)
- Armory (Aidan O’Brien)
- Emissary (Hugo Palmer/Jim Crowley)
- English King (Ed Walker)
- Gold Maze (Jessica Harrington)
- Highland Chief (Paul and Oliver Cole/Ben Curtis)
- Kameko (Andrew Balding/Oisin Murphy)
- Khalifa Sat (Andrew Balding/Tom Marquand)
- Max Vega (Ralph Beckett/Harry Bentley)
- Mogul (Aidan O’Brien)
- Mohican Heights (David Simcock/Andrea Atzeni)
- Mythical (Aidan O’Brien)
- Pyledriver (William Muir/Martin Dwyer)
- Russian Emperor (Aidan O’Brien)
- Serpentine (Aidan O’Brien)
- Vatican City (Aidan O’Brien)
- Worthily (John Gosden/Martin Harley)
- Kameko ready for unique test at Epsom states trainer Andrew Balding
- Dettori “Very Happy” As Derby Favourite English King Completes Key Work
- Superb Santiago Surely St Leger Bound After Irish Derby Success
- Sandown Set To Eclipse The Weekend: Clash Of The Titans In The Eclipse
- Magnificent Magical Dominates Pretty Polly To Mark Return