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Will It Be Appelby vs O’Brien Again In The Epsom Derby?

Will It Be Appelby vs O’Brien Again In The Epsom Derby?

One of the sporting occasions of the year takes place on Saturday June 1. An exciting month of sporting action begins with the Epsom Derby. It’s a race that is always hugely popular but who will win the big race in 2024?

Recent years have seen the race dominated by two trainers. Aidan O’Brien has saddled a record nine Epsom Derby winners and four of the last seven. Charlie Appebly has trained two of the other three winners and both trainers have a strong chance of again winning the race this year.

If you’ve backed a Charlie Appelby trained winner of the Epsom Derby, you’ll have been extremely happy in doing so. He won this race in 2018 with Masad and then Adayar three years later. Both of those wins didn’t just please those who backed them but delighted the bookmakers too. 

According to various betting platforms, the pair had one thing in common, they went off at 16/1 and still became Epsom Derby winners. If Appelby is to get a third winner this year, it’s likely it’ll be with a runner at considerably shorter odds.

Appelby again has a leading fancy for the race but not the one he’d been expecting to have. Arabian Crown was the second favourite and considered to have a good chance of winning the race. 

He made a strong seasonal reappearance but on May 17 his dreams of winning the Epsom Derby ended. Arabian Dream suffered a setback at home and it was decided he wouldn’t be ready for the Derby.

It’s a major setback for his trainer but hopefully Arabian Crown will be back later in the year and still one to follow when placing bets.

Losing such a high profile runner would be a disaster for most yards. However, Appelby can now concentrate more on his other leading contender Ancient Wisdom. He’s now the fourth favourite to win the Epsom Derby and 14/1 in the market.

Appelby also has Ancient Wisdom entered for the 2024 Epsom Derby. This contender won four times as a two-year-old including a Group 1 win at Doncaster. That followed success in a Group 3 race held at Newmarket.

May 16 saw him make his seasonal reappearance in the Dante Stakes at York. He finished second, six lengths behind the William Haggas trained Economics in a race run over ten-and-a-half furlongs. The winner isn’t entered for the Derby as it’s considered a bit too far a distance for him.

His owners might just take a gamble and run him and is the 7/4 favourite with a run. You can only be in the Epsom Derby once so it’s possible that despite the doubts over being effective over a mile-and-a-half, he might just be in the stalls on June 1.

Ancient Wisdom was sired by Dubawi so should be a force over 12 furlongs. He was staying on at York and at 16/1 (a lucky price for Appelby), looks excellent each-way value.

The current favourite for those who have been entered into the Epsom Derby is Aidan O’Brien’s City of Troy at 2/1. Heralded as a future great when winning three races as a two-year-old, he now has a reputation to salvage.

That’s because he was only able to finish ninth of the 11 runners in this year’s 2000 Guineas. It was a hugely disappointing run not that the bookmakers were all that upset. He did take a keen hold in a strongly run race run over a mile. Two furlongs out he was just too tired to make up ground on those in front of him.

He was sired by Justify who has won over 12 furlongs. City of Troy needs to settle better than he did at Newmarket and leave some energy in his tank for the final stages of the race. If that was to happen, then we’re set for a fascinating race on June 1.

O’Brien also has the joint second favourite Los Angeles (13/2 at present) who won a Group 3 Derby Trial at Leopardstown in May. His sire is Camelot who is a former winner of this race. He’s definitely one to consider.

James Fanshawe trains the other 13/2 second favourite Ambiente Friendly. This contender finished behind Ancient Wisdom as a two-year-old. After only finishing fourth at Newmarket this April, he then won impressively at Lingfield to put himself in contention for the Epsom Derby.

This looks like being an open Epsom Derby. We could well see an outsider win as has happened several times in recent years. June 1 promises to be a fascinating day.

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