3 To Follow On Epsom Derby Day
May 31, 2019
It was once a race that stopped the nation, and although the Derby isn’t quite the national treasure that it once was, it’s still a great day it the British sporting calendar.
With the Epsom track presenting plenty twists and turns for horse and rider along the way, many have likened the one mile and four-furlong Derby test as similar to a helter-skelter with cambers like those found in a cycling velodrome.
A famous quote says that “the Thoroughbred exists not because its selection has depended on experts, technicians or zoologists but one piece of wood: the winning post of the Epsom Derby.”
In a nutshell, this is what flat racing is all about, so I’ve taken a look at three punting prospects that could get you in the winner’s enclosure on Derby day.
Nyaleti (Princess Elizabeth Stakes @ 2:35pm) – 3/1 with Betfred
Trainer Mark Johnston is never too far away from the winner’s enclosure and with Royal Ascot just around the corner, you can be sure his horses are ready to hit red-hot form.
Currently operating at a 21% strike rate in the last fortnight, Johnston saddles Nyaleti in the second of the day at Epsom, and she has some nice form that could pay dividends in this.
She opened her account for the year when a length second to Worth Waiting in a fillies’ Group 2 at Newmarket, and then finished a clear fourth behind Lah Ti Dar in the Middleton at York.
As a fillies Group 3, this race isn’t likely to be anywhere near as hot and considering Nyaleti has been banging on the door in better races, this could be the one where she gets her head in front.
Muthmir (Epsom Dash @ 3:45pm) – 12/1 with Black Type
Five furlongs at Epsom means the Dash is a blink and you’ll miss it type of event.
Ranked as a class two, what it lacks in a superstar like Battaash, it certainly makes up for in competitiveness.
Muthmir is an interesting contender for me and might just upset the odds at a widely available 10/1 when the market first opened.
He spent the whole of last season running in Group and Listed races, including winning the Listed Achilles Stakes at Haydock in June. He was also second in the Group 3 Coral Charge at Sandown and then grabbed 3rd in the Group 2 King George Qatar Stakes at Goodwood.
Back into a class 2 here, he might just have too much quality, and that is illustrated by the fact that he has three wins and a placed effort from five attempts at this level.
Sir Dragonet (The Derby @ 4:30pm) – 11/4 with BoyleSports
A breath-taking winner of the Chester Vase, Sir Dragonet was deservingly supplemented for the Derby to the tune of £85,000 and is a worthy favourite for one of the biggest flat races on the planet.
Trainer Aiden O’Brien regularly takes his top Derby prospects to the Vase at Chester, with Sir Dragonet now aiming to follow in the hoofprints of the O’Brien-trained Ruler of the World, who landed the Vase/Derby double in 2013. That could be a tip in itself.
Connections have said that they didn’t even realise they had him at home, and so he’s served his best for the racecourse, and that was showed by being a last to first winner at Chester.
That’s a track that presents similar challenges to Epsom, and considering he was emphatic there just a few weeks ago, I think he could be an epic winner of the 2019 Derby.
Find your horse racing betting odds here
As a qualified sports journalist, Luke has worked with nationally-recognised outlets covering events from the World Cup to the Grand National. Luke is one of the few men who has to admit that their father was the better footballer, but at least he can take comfort from the fact he got to see his Dad score at Wembley. When Luke isn’t talking football, you’ll normally find him following his other passion, horse racing and has his own horses in training with Paul Nicholls and Mark Johnston.