Sean Goff | Epsom Derby
Will he handle the bends? Will he stay? What about the ground? If all this talk of Epsom Derby stamina, breeding and tactics is all double dutch here’s Paddy Power’s guide to the fourth Clssic of the Flat season – football style.
The winner will go down in racing history and nobody will remember who finished second and third – unless you’ve backed them each way of course.
So put the pin away, stop reading the paper like you know what you’re doing and saddle up for Paddy Power’s horse-by-horse football guide to the Epsom Derby.
1. Battle of Marengo 5/1
Ballydoyle’s chief challenger now that Magician can’t work his, er, magic. Sure to stay the 1m 4f trip. Could do a Daniel Sturridge and step up to fulfil his potential.
2. Chopin 10/1
The first German runner in the English Classic so hard to weigh up how he’ll handle the pressure. Needs to be more Mario Gotze than Lukas Podolkski to score here.
3. Dawn Approach 6/5f
Power, pace, and unbeaten in seven runs to date including the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket. The Gareth Bale of this field and one you’d want in your team all day long.
4. Festive Cheer 40/1
Third choice runner from the Aidan O’Brien stable but was close third in France last time. Could be there to make life awkward for everyone else. A Peter Crouch. Just faster.
5. Flying the Flag 66/1
Another Ballydoyle inmate who doesn’t appear to have much chance on the bare form but this stable has a history of over-performing outsiders. Think Rickie Lambert.
6. Galileo Rock 33/1
Irish runner looking to enjoy the day out but doesn’t look quick enough for the top tier. Stephen Hunt or his brother Noel.
7. Libertarian 16/1
Won the Dante trial at York but looks more a plodder than an artisan. That trial has thrown up three Derby winners in the last nine years but looks a bit Andy Carroll-ish in this field of thoroughbreds.
8. Mars 14/1
One-time winter favourite for this race after his win at Dundalk last year but has fallen out of favour since finishing eighth in the 2,000 Guineas. A bit of the Wayne Rooneys about him.
9. Mirsaale 66/1
Course winner over 1m 2f and offspring of 2006 winner Sir Percy – who never won another race in three efforts afterwards. This one – like Nikica Jelavic – may have had his day too.
10. Ocean Applause 500/1
Finished eighth in the Derby Trail that Mirsaale won. No good reason why he should be in the line-up at all except someone’s paid a sh*t load of money for him and won’t see sense. Fernando Torres eat your heart out.
11. Ocovango 7/1
The dark horse in the field who’s won over 1m 2f and his trainer Andre Fabre won this with Pour Moi in 2011. Unbeaten in three races and – like Luiz Suarez – is chomping at the bit to get under orders.
12. Ruler of the World 8/1
Would be the first Derby winner since Shergar in 1981 to do the Chester Vase/Epsom Derby double. You’d suspect – like Christian Benteke – that he won’t disgrace himself on the big stage.