Thursday, June 03, 2010

Epsom Derby 2010

For those who like to make up their own mind, my Twitter Guide to this year's Derby (compiled on the back of a fag packet late Monday afternoon) may be of some limited interest. For everyone else, there's this.

No more than twelve will go to post at 4.00pm on Saturday; at present the Coolmore and Godolphin entries combined make up half the field. Much of the talk in the build-up to this Classic has surrounded Coolmore's plans. St Nicholas Abbey has been a short-priced favourite through the winter months on the back of a scintillating victory in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster last year. In recent weeks however the vibes coming from the yard have been anything but positive and last week St Nicholas Abbey was usurped at the head of the market by stablemate Jan Vermeer. In due course, St Nicholas Abbey was declared a non-runner and perhaps more surprisingly another Coolmore inmate, Cape Blanco, winner of the Dante, was re-routed to France. The stable regularly declares multiple entries for this race; last year each of their six entries incurred a £140 fine for arriving late in the paddock so it will be interesting to see if there is a repeat performance this time. Johnny Murtagh rides the top-rated animal and market leader Jan Vermeer, Derrinstown winner Midas Touch will be partnered by Colm O'Donoghue while the other Coolmore inmate At First Sight is set to carry out the pacemaking duties.

Godolphin has spared no expense in supplementing two, Rewilding (winner of the Cocked Hat Stakes at Goodwood - formerly the Predominate) and Buzzword (fourth in the French Guineas) at a cost of £150,000. Al Zir completes the line-up. Stable jockey Frankie Dettori is aboard Rewilding - the last horse to win the Goodwood race and then go on to take the Derby was Troy in 1979.

Perhaps there's more to come from Sir Michael Stoute's Workforce who looked awkward when finishing second in the Dante; it came to light afterwards that the bit had slipped through his mouth. Although no horse placed in the Dante has ever gone on to win the Derby, Workforce merits plenty of respect, as does Henry Cecil's Bullet Train who won the Lingfield Trial in fine style, although I don't like this one's low draw. John Gosden's Azmeel was visually impressive when taking the Dee Stakes at Chester and is likely to appreciate both the step up in trip and quicker ground but I'm not convinced that was Derby winning form.

In the last ten years Sinndar was the biggest priced winner of the race at 7/1, two joint favourites and two outright favourites have obliged, while three second favourites have collected the spoils. On each occasion the winner has come from the top four in the betting.

I'm going to oppose Jan Vermeer on grounds of value and because the form of the stable has been a concern this season - that latter comment also applies to Midas Touch but at around 6/1 the Galileo colt makes more appeal than the favourite.

I take Workforce to step up to the mark and win the spoils. Those looking for an each-way suggestion at a bigger price could do worse than consider Azmeel (12/1) while for those who simply just don't care, 66/1 about Buzzword looks big given the stable has stumped up the supplementary fee and stated that the colt's recent homework was their reason for letting him take his chance. He's not guaranteed to stay the trip but connections seem hopeful following his staying-on fourth at Longchamp...

Good luck to one and all!

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

Workforce wins the Derby seven lengths in a course record time. Impressive indeed - I certainly didn't envisage such an emphatic victory beforehand. That win completed a dream weekend for jockey Ryan Moore who had taken the Oaks twenty four hours earlier on Snow Fairy. In the post race interview Sir Michael Stoute clearly thought he'd seen something special and you couldn't do anything but concur. Willie Carson said that performance was better than the one put up by Sea The Stars to win last year's Derby and he predicted Workforce would remain unbeaten for the rest of this season.
The each-way picks fared less well... Amzeel (14/1) ruined his chance by failing to settle in the early stages - he raced prominently but faded from over two out to come home tenth of the twelve runners.
Bits and pieces in the market for Buzzword who went off at 40/1 - he failed to quicken around the two furlong pole and came home eighth.