Which Bookie racing analyst Will Smith is back again with more hot tips. Today’s tips are for the 2020 Derby taking place at Epsom Downs on Saturday 4th July. Also please read the preview of Derby Day and a further 50/1 selection made after the 5 day declaration stage here www.whichbookie.co.uk/free-betting-tips/horse-racing/epsom-derby-oaks-day/
Read Will’s selections and initial analysis below.
Note: Any odds featured on this page were correct at time of publishing (14:10 pm 25/06/2020) and are subject to change.
Russian Emperor – 10/1 EW (Bet365)
The treats keep rolling in, as after a scintillating Royal Ascot, we now turn to the most famous Classics of all – the Irish Derby features this Saturday, and then next Saturday, we have the day to cap it all for racing fans up and down the country – a ‘Super Saturday’ if you will, at Epsom Downs, featuring the Derby and the Oaks.
The Oaks has looked at the mercy of Aidan O’Brien ever since Love and Peaceful ran away with the 1000 Guineas on either side of the Irish Sea, but the Derby however, has an altogether more appealing look to it from a betting perspective.
Aidan O’Brien has been shuffling his middle-distance pack in these last few days, and he has declared six in the Irish Derby this Saturday, leaving the way clear for his main three contenders at Epsom to be Mogul, Russian Emperor and Vatican City.
Russian Emperor, at 10/1 with Bet365, I strongly feel could be the one to emerge from Ballydoyle as their number one hope.
Mogul, has been at the forefront of a lot of people’s minds for most of the winter/spring. But he has had a rushed preparation, and it was a run clearly below expectations at Royal Ascot. Hence, O’Brien has had to concede defeat when it comes to getting two prep runs into him, which all means he is vulnerable. Vatican City flew late in the Irish 2000 Guineas and could be the pick of that form, but it is Russian Emperor who has flown slightly under the radar, despite running in the recognised Derrinstown Derby trial at Leopardstown, and winning the Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Sent off 11/8 favourite in the Derrinstown Derby trial, he was not subject to a hard time when running on late behind an enterprisingly ridden stablemate who appreciated the application of first-time blinkers. But while he only finished second, he ran a lovely seasonal reappearance, and followers of this column will know I was sweet on him for Royal Ascot. He duly delivered in strong staying fashion, and under a power-packed Ryan Moore, he ultimately won cosily enough in the end, despite being off the bridle earlier than most.
The time of that Hampton Court Stakes stands up well against the King Edward VII Stakes, won by Pyledriver, and featuring the aforementioned Mogul well beaten back in fourth. Indeed, Russian Emperor’s closing sectionals suggest that it was a run of the highest quality, and with the promise of much more to come over the extra two furlongs of the Derby trip.
It could be that Ryan Moore plumps for Russian Emperor ahead of Mogul, as surely Russian Emperor gave him a better feel – and if he does the 10/1 with Bet365 will be a distant memory.
Of the likely opponents, English King is the one that would most worry me, but while his Lingfield Derby Trial was run in track record time, it was very fast ground that day, and the form of those he beat seems nothing special at all.
While, surely Kameko will find it tricky to stay the trip well enough in a race that always searches deep into any horse’s stamina reserves, and Ballydoyle (with so many contenders who are sons of Galileo) never make this race too tactical in nature.
Military March will probably stay well, but the form of the 2000 Guineas doesn’t seem to be setting the world alight, and he looks more of a potential St Leger candidate, rather than a stayer with a turn of foot that usually wins the Derby.