2012 Investec Epsom Derby - Horse by Horse Preview
Racing Editor for bettingexpert. Always searching for winners "against the crowd" and trying to find the value.
This weekend sees the running of the 2012 Investec Epsom Derby. Today on the blog, Stephen delivers our exclusive horse by horse preview.
Camelot : best price 4-6
The long term Derby favourite, he remains unbeaten after three career starts and promises to thrive now tackling 1m4f for the first time. His win when very heavily supported in the 2000 Guineas is more and more impressive every time one re-watches the DVD, essentially winning with the minimum of fuss under a very confident Joseph O'Brien, and he seems at least one grade above all his rivals for Saturday's £1,325,000 prize. Only the fast ground and undulations of Epsom, (that some horses simply do not handle and can lead to trouble in running), stops maximum confidence at a current best offer of 4-6.
Bonfire : 5-1
Andrew Balding is a young trainer firmly on the upgrade and he has a real star in the yard with this thrice raced Manduro colt. He created a deep impression on debut last season with a smooth Salisbury maiden win, before finishing third when pitched into Group class in France. His eagerly awaited seasonal debut was postponed because of the deep ground at Chester's May meeting, but he did not disappoint in the Dante at York, quickening up smartly to deny Ektihaam with the pair clear. The manner of that win (always up with strong pace and found plenty) suggests the trip will be within his compass, but he may lack the class of Camelot and all the big prices ante-post have long gone.
Main Sequence : 10-1
David Lanigan is another yard to follow in the next few season's and he has his first Derby runner with this imposing colt. He touched off the heavily backed Shantaram in the Betfred Derby Trial on the all-weather, coming with a strong run up the unfavoured inside to land the spoils despite appearing slightly burly in the paddock beforehand. He is now unbeaten in four career starts and is the one of the principals with guaranteed proven stamina for this trip. For those hunting for an each-way alternative to the odds-on favourite he might be the one under regular rider Ted Durcan.
Astrology : 12-1
Aidan O'Brien's second string for sure but not one to totally dismiss. He won a war of attrition in the heavy ground to win a below par Dee Stakes at Chester by 11l and certainly will not be wanting for stamina in the closing stages here, with an extra 2f sure to suit. Fast ground is an unknown and he seemed to have his limitations rather exposed when third in the Group 3 Autumn Stakes last backend.
Thought Worthy : 16-1
The one horse in recent days to attract good each way cash and his price has collapsed from 33-1 with his participation assured. John Gosden's Dynaformer colt was all out to scramble home in a bunched finish at Newmarket 14 days ago, coming under pressure earlier than the principals and doing well to assert close home (traded at 40-1 in running on betfair). Again the extra 2f will suit on run-style at least, and the faster conditions will not be a problem but he will need the principals to under-perform if he is to get into the frame.
Mickdaam : 33-1
Richard Fahey has made a blistering start to the turf season but this Northern raider appears safely held and far more exposed than most after 9 career starts. He made hay at Meydaan over the winter and returned with a gutsy win in a bog at Chester over this trip (very uneasy in market beforehand). His race hardiness and experience is often an asset but the class gulf will be impossible to bridge.
Rugged Service : 50-1
Touched off in a three way photo behind Thought Worthy last time out, form which leaves him plenty to find and veteran trainer Henry Candy reportedly doesn't believe he will be suited by 1m4f and is running the Cape Cross colt because of his owners wishes.
Cavaleiro : 66-1
Marcus Tregoning's resurgence has been great to see in the past month but he will need to work the oracle to get this exposed Sir Precy colt involved (distant third behind Main Sequence on seasonal debut).
Minimise Risk : 66-1
Andrew Balding's second string might take up pace-making role if there is no early gallop. Safely outclassed.
In summary, one of the least competitive Derby fields assembled for many years affords the exciting Camelot an ideal chance to enter the history books.
SELECTION - Camelot to Win at 4-6 with Main Sequence each-way at 10-1
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