Race fans all over the world will tune into the Investec Derby at Epsom on Saturday and viewers look set to be treated to a thrilling contest.
The world’s oldest Classic (due off at 4.30pm) remains one of British racing’s biggest draws and the famous race has been won by some of the sport’s leading names. The likes of Sea The Stars, Galileo, Nashwan, Mill Reef and Shergar all grace the contest’s illustrious roll of honour and a number of interesting horses will be looking to add their name to the history books on Saturday afternoon.
John Gosden’s Wings Of Desire (5/1, Ladbrokes
) heads the market for this year’s renewal and the Colt certainly laid down the clearest marker for the race when he landed the Dante Stakes at York last time out. That trial is considered to be one of the most informative in the build up to Epsom and the way he obliged rightfully impressed plenty of ante post punters.
There are plenty of other horses that hold claims in an intriguing renewal of the race but it is impossible not to be drawn to Aidan O’Brien who has won the great race on five occasions. He has also been responsible for three of the last four winners, leading Australia, Camelot and Ruler Of The World to famous victories. The Derby trials have left the Ballydoyle 2016 Derby picture unclear, but US ARMY RANGER
(6/1, William Hill
) has long been considered their leading hope and there are plenty of reasons to be excited about his chances this weekend.
By Galileo and out of Oaks runner-up/Irish Oaks winner Moonstone, the Colt did not make his debut until this season and there had already been plenty of whispers about the horse on the gallops. Touted as a Derby winner before he’d even seen a track, his victory at the Curragh in April was certainly mightily impressive and he was as short as 5/1 for Classic glory just a few days after that success.
Us Army Ranger wins the Chester Vase.
As a result of the excitement he was sent off 4/11 for the Chester Vase last month and despite landing the Group Three, he failed to impress ante post punters with his performance. Receiving 4lb from stablemate Port Douglas, he scraped home by a short-head and the Derby picture became even more unclear.
The bookmakers were clearly unimpressed with his victory there, but there was also plenty to like about his trip to Chester and he travelled like much the best horse throughout. On only his second start he cruised through the trial and he looked like he would win how he liked when they turned for home. Ryan Moore never had to get too serious in the saddle and he always looked to be holding his experienced rival.
The duo pulled seven lengths clear of the field and his master handler was left thrilled with the performance. He is sure to come on for that run and according to RPRs, Deauville is the only horse in the Derby field to have achieved more by their second run.
When O’Brien has a good horse they often live up their hype on the track and Ryan Moore has chosen to partner the Irish raider. He heads into the race as an unbeaten Colt with the world at his feet and the conditions at Epsom will pose little trouble. He has drifted to an enticing price and he could prove too good for his rivals on Saturday.