O’Brien runners could prove the better valueBy David Wright
June 03, 2011
The mass of occasional punters who only frequent a betting office when it’s the Grand National or the Derby will be packing the betting shops tomorrow.
And you can safely bet a large majority will be putting their hard-earned cash on Carlton House, simply because he is owned by The Queen.
But as Sir Michael Stoute’s smart three-year-old is set to go off as a short-priced favourite for the Investec Derby (4.00) at Epsom, punters will not get much in return for their stake if he wins.
So, it could be more profitable to place a pound or two on an outisder with most bookies paying out quarter of a place on those fnishing second and third.
Before making your selection there are a few points worth noting.
- Seven of the last 10 Derby winners were scoring on their second start of the season.
- Seven of the last 10 favourites have been placed with four winning – including two joint-favourites.
- None of the last 10 winners have been returned at longer odds than 6-1.
- Seven of the last 10 winners won their preceding start and none had finished worse than second.
- Seven of the last 10 winners have come from a single-figure draw.
Carlton House has been drawn in the outside stall 13 – so will this prove unlucky for The Queen, who has yet to win the Blue Riband of the Turf?
Those of his 12 rivals who are fancied to cause an upset include Seville, who will come from stall 2, Native Khan from 3, Recital from 4 and highly-touted French challenger Pour Moi from 7.
French trainers don’t have a good record in the Derby, but Andre Fabre’s Pour Moi has been well backed this week and is set to go off second favourite. Recital and Seville are likely to be the only two other runners with their starting price in single figures.
The last two named are trained by the in-form Aidan O’Brien, who saddled the winner in 2001 and 2002, and both must have an outstanding chance of upsetting the favourite and Her Majesty.
But then, there could be value in backing a longer shot and Ocean War, the mount of Frankie Dettori, and Masked Marvel are two I would consider.
On form, however, the winner should be Carlton House. He was an impressive winner of the Dante Stakes at York, which is one of the best guides to the Derby, and as a result his antepost favourite was cut quite considerably. Ryan Moore’s mount suffered a setback during a work-out on Monday. But he remains in contention for tomorrow after cantering yesterday morning.
- Premier Loco, who finished third without troubling the outstanding Canford Cliffs in a Group 1 race at Newbury on May 14, could be worth an interest in the Group 3 Investec Diomed Stakes at Epsom tomorrow (2.40).
- Blue Bunting takes on 12 fillies in the Investec Oaks at Epsom this afternoon (4.05).
Godolphin’s shining light has been the ante-post favourite for the filles’ Classic since claiming the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket.
Mahmood Al Zarooni’s three-year-old faces stiff opposition from a predictably powerful Aidan O’Brien team, spearheaded by the progressive Wonder Of Wonders.
The Ballydoyle team also pitch Irish 1,000 Guineas heroine Misty For Me into the race, alongside Why and Eirnin.
Havant, trained by Sir Michael Stoute, was sixth in the Newmarket Guineas, but has the pedigree to suggest a step up in trip will suit.
Mick Channon launches a two-pronged attack with the unbeaten Zain Al Boldan and Fork Handles.
Channon said: “Everybody is excited about the Oaks. We are chuffed with Zain Al Boldan, it was a great performance in the (Lingfield Oaks) Trial.
“She’s had a great preparation and I think she has improved.
“The same applies to Fork Handles – she had Group form last year.”