To say that the Epsom Cazoo Derby picture this season is muddy, would be not just underplaying the picture regarding the three-year-old colts, but confusing what is effectively a quagmire for anything but.
Derby trials have come and gone this week, and despite there being impressive enough winners of these events, none have seemingly impressed the layers enough to shake up the head of the market for the Derby.
Aidan O’Brien of course would still be a short price to win it with something, and despite the stable perhaps having a slightly alarmingly quiet time of it in the big trials, the likes of High Definition and Bolshoi Ballet are yet to fully play their hand.
Bolshoi Ballet gets the chance to confirm superiority with a few old rivals in today’s Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial Stakes at Leopardstown at 3.15 this afternoon. While he was an impressive winner of the Ballysax Stakes a month ago over course and distance, he was always well placed and I think the likes of stablemate Lough Derg and in particular, Taipan, can get much closer or improve past him today.
Jessica Harrington wouldn’t be known as a source of leading Derby candidates, but the stable has certainly announced themselves as having Classic contenders elsewhere in the last few seasons, and I feel they could have another one in Taipan.
At 5/1 with Betfred and a few others, Taipan looks a great each-way bet. A big, scopey horse, he won his maiden at Naas last backend in mightily impressive style on heavy ground at Naas – in a manner very much against the grain of how races had been panning out on the day. That marked him down as a horse to keep a close eye on as a three-year-old, and he did nothing in his first run this season behind Bolshoi Ballet, to suggest that he should be removed from glare of the microscope.
Held up and keen enough, Taipan ran well and consistent with comments from connections that he would very much need the run that day. To finish a running-on and close third screamed of latent ability, and I expect to see a much more refined showing today.
At 5/1, Taipan is a great bet each-way to win the Derrinstown Derby Trial Stakes at Leopardstown at 3.15 today, and in doing so provide a defining shake-up of a Derby market that is very much in need of it.
To that end, perhaps taking some 33/1 about Taipan for the Derby itself, wouldn’t be the worst idea also…