The Epsom Derby is a Group One race for three-year-old thoroughbred colts and fillies run over one mile and four furlongs. It is the most esteemed Classic horserace in Great Britain and the race is steeped in a rich history.

The leading Derby jockey of all time is Lester Piggott who won it an amazing nine times, whilst three trainers have all won the race seven times (Robert Robson, John Porter, Fred Darling).

Aiden O'Brien has trained the winner an impressive six times in all with four of those wins all coming in the last seven years.

 

Epsom Downs: Ante Post Preview

Several months ago I had a look at the Derby when the declarations first came out and it is worth having a recap at some of those I flagged up.

John Gosden’s Too Darn Hot failed to get here with his only original entry left being Humanitarian (advised at 28/1 in the horse racing odds).

Aidan O’Brien fields seven of the thirteen final entries this year and Ireland’s champion Flat trainer is chasing a record-equalling seventh Derby success following the victories of Galileo (2001), High Chaparral (2002), Camelot (2012), Ruler of the World (2013), Australia (2014), and Wings of Eagles (2017).

Of those seven AOB entries, I brought to your attention just three of them back in April, but they could well be the biggest players on Saturday afternoon.

Anthony Van Dyck (advised at 14/1) and Japan (advised at 16/1) were both in my write up, but I also mentioned the following horse in my O’Brien summary:

O’Brien recently sent out Broome (11/1) to win the Ballysax Stakes at Leopardstown and he will return there to contest the Derrinstown, which is usually an insightful Classic trial.

Broome finished second in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at the Arc meeting last season and at this early stage looks like O’Brien’s leading candidate for the Derby.

 

The Derby: Trends & Statistics

Here we look at the trends and statistics over the last ten years to help you indentify the 2019 Derby winner:

Previous Form:

  • None of the last 12 winners had run or a win at Epsom before.
  • 1 of the last 10 winners had run over 12f before, 1/10 winners had at least 1 previous win over 12 furlongs.
  • 10/10 winners had at least 3 flat runs, 10/10 winners had at least 2 wins on the flat.

Ratings:

Looking back at the last ten-year trends of the race we find that we need to be looking at a runner with an official rating of 109 or more, so that’s a negative for Bangkok, Hiroshima, Humanitarian, Norway and Sovereign.

Starting Price:

  • 3 of the last 10 winners were favourite/joint favourite, 8 of the last 10 winners have been in the top 3 in the betting.
  • The most likely top three in the Investec Derby Festival odds are: Sir Dragonet (5/2), Broome (4/1), Telecaster (9/2).

Epsom Derby: Statistical Summary

Based on the last ten runnings of the race you are looking for a runner that at least ticks most of these boxes.

  • A horse trading in the first three in the betting priced 7/1 or less.
  • A winner of the Dante or the 2000 Guineas at a 3-y-o.
  • A horse that finished first or second on its proceeding start.
  • A horse trained by Aidan O’Brien.
  • A winner of a Group race before.
  • Raced no more than 5 times before.
  • Ran in the last five weeks.

 

Epsom Derby: Runners & Riders

ANTHONY VAN DYCK (Aidan O'Brien)

He was a decent enough winner in the Lingfield Derby Trial, but not since 1998 has the winner of that race gone on to Derby glory.

BANGKOK (Andrew Balding)

The King Power Racing-owned colt defeated Telecaster on his seasonal debut in March and won the Sandown Classic Trial on his latest start.

BROOME (Aidan O'Brien)

Broome won both the Ballysax and Derrinstown Stud Derby Trials, a route traditionally taken by O’Brien with his best Derby prospect each year which is probably a tip in itself. He should be suited by the demands of Epsom.

CIRCUS MAXIMUS (Aidan O'Brien)

Winner of the Dee Stakes at Chester and his two-year-old form was franked again when Phoenix of Spain won the Irish 2000 Guineas last Saturday. He looks to be one of the more overpriced ones of the O’Brien septet.

HIROSHIMA (John Ryan)

Over 10 lengths behind Anthony Van Dyck at Lingfield. We’re pretty sure he won’t be doing a Terimon here.

HUMANITARIAN (Jon Gosden)

Thrown in at the deep end after minor wins at Lingfield in November and at Salisbury two weeks ago. Will probably find one or two of the others too good but his trainer certainly has the Derby credentials.

JAPAN (Aidan O'Brien)

Winter favourite for this race but O’Brien will be under no illusions that Japan will have to improve upon his Dante performance at York last time.

LINE OF DUTY (Charlie Appleby)

Successful last year with Masar, Appleby relies on Line Of Duty this time, despite a disappointing run in the Dante.

MADHMOON (Kevin Prendergast)

The Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum-owned colt was fourth in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket and boasts top-class juvenile form. It would come as no surprise to see him stepping up to the plate here.

NORWAY (Aidan O'Brien)

Rather edgy ahead of his Chester reappearance and was comprehensively beaten by his stablemate Sir Dragonet that day. No reason to suspect a sudden reversal of that form will happen now.

SIR DRAGONET (Aidan O'Brien)

Visually impressive winner at Chester, but that was in the soft ground and he will have to prove he’s just as good on a better surface. Supplemented for £85,000 so connections must fancy their chances of recouping their investment.

SOVEREIGN (Aidan O'Brien)

Stablemates will probably owe him a debt of honour at the end of proceedings after he tees up the race for them.

TELECASTER (Hughie Morrison)

Also supplemented into this race, Telecaster booked his place by dismantling Too Darn Hot's reputation in the Dante at York. Entirely plausible that he may have peaked too early and this race is an afterthought?

 

Epsom Derby: Conclusion

I’m all for tried and trusted training methods myself and I do believe that BROOME (nap) has been the number one Derby pick for Aidan O’Brien for some time now.

With niggling question marks over Sir Dragonet and Telecaster, Broome can be horse to sweep them all away in this historical English Classic.

888Sport suggests: Broome (win).

 

*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*

About the Author
By
Steve Mullington

Steven is a sports and horseracing enthusiast and is a member of the Horseracing Writers and Photographers Association (HWPA) in the United Kingdom.

He is a regular visitor to Paris Longchamp for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and a lifelong fan of the Aintree Grand National, a subject he writes about 52 weeks of the year. Last year he reached the impressive milestone of attending the last 25 renewals of the Grand National.