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2019 Epsom Derby tips – Irish raider sitting on Mad price in Epsom’s most famous Classic

Masar crosses the line to seal Epsom Derby glory in 2018.

Our expert takes a look through the ante-post betting for this famous Classic and provides readers with his tips for Epsom on Saturday 1st June.

Few races in the entire sport of horse racing can match the history, the prestige and the magic of the Epsom Derby. A race first staged on the famous Epsom Downs in 1780 and any horse lucky enough to join legends like Ormonde, Gay Crusader, Nijinsky and Shergar on the honours boards will guarantee themselves a place in the annals of sporting history.

A gaggle of Ballydoyle colts feature at the top of the current Derby betting, after Aidan O'Brien's horses dominated the Derby Trials across Britain and Ireland. Despite not currently holding entry into the Derby, Sir Dragonet (10/3 Betfair) currently carries the shortest price of all O’Brien’s runners, having trounced his rivals in the Chester Vase on just his second career-start. 

I would be amazed if O’Brien didn’t supplement this impressive youngster into the mix and you’d be hard pushed to pick out a better-bred horse in the field. Yet, the form of that Chester trial looks decidedly poor and I doubt there have been many horses who won the Derby on their third outing on a racetrack, having been unraced as a two-year-old.

Broome (4/1 William Hill) ended 2018 with a narrow defeat in the Jean-Luc Lagardere at Longchamp and looked every inch a possible Derby horse when hacking up to win the Ballysax Stakes by eight lengths on his reappearance. Broome then led home a 1-2-3 for O’Brien in the Derrinstown Stud Stakes and should have no trouble at all seeing out the mile-and-a-half trip in the Derby.

Anthony Van Dyck (5/1 Unibet) established himself as an integral cog in Ballydoyle's Derby plans during a battling victory in the Lingfield Derby Trial. That poor run at the Breeders’ Cup aside, Anthony Van Dyck enjoyed an excellent juvenile campaign and he shaped like a middle distance horse in several high-profile races. That race at Lingfield has proven to be a poor trial for the derby in recent seasons, but Anthony Van Dyck is an improving colt with plenty of class and experience.

Following Circus Maximus’ (20/1 Coral) attritional victory over stablemate Mohawk (33/1 Unibet) in the Dee Stakes, O’Brien stated that the team were eyeing a clash with Too Darn Hot in the Dante for former Derby favourite, Japan (10/1 Betfair).

Seamie Heffernan’s mount stayed on stoutly to beat Ryan Moore’s chosen ride, Mount Everest (14/1 Unibet) in the Bereford Stakes last season. Things didn't go to plan in the Dante, as Japan finished a staying on fourth after drifting markedly in the betting beforehand, but he should come on from that York outing and will likely be part of O'Brien's Epsom plans.

With all the talk surrounding Japan, Broome and Anthony Van Dyck, Cape Of Good Hope (25/1 William Hill) has been somewhat forgotten in the Derby discussion. O’Brien’s charge ventured to Epsom to win the Blue Ribband Trial, coming from off the pace to beat Cap Francais quite comfortably and he could be an outsider to look out for in the build-up.

Too darn Hot was the talking horse heading into the Dante, but it was Hughie Morrison, and not John Gosden, who was celebrating at York as Telecaster (7/1 Coral) outstay his highly-rated rival. Oisin Murphy latched onto the early pace and stayed on stoutly to get the victory. The fact, however, that Too Darn Hot is clearly a non-stayer over this trip, and the team's apparent reticence to stump up a supplementary fee, makes Telecaster a fairly unappealing prospect.

Andrew Balding and King Power Racing have been flying for much of the season and they would have been delighted to see Bangkok (12/1 Coral) book his place at Epsom by winning the Classic Trial at Sandown. Silvestre De Sousa’s mount may have won that Group Three rather comfortably, but the subsequent runs of Technician and Persian Moon have downgraded that performance significantly.

Of Aidan O’Brien’s runners, I think Broome and Anthony Van Dyck look best suited to a race like the Derby and either would be a worthy winner. Yet, the fact Sir Dragonet is the shortest priced of all the Ballydoyle contender after whopping a rubbish field at Chester suggests O’Brien’s current crop of Derby colts may not be as strong as they have been in previous season.

Taking everything into account, I’m prepared to take both Aidan O’Brien and the British contingent in the Derby and, after Line Of Duty fluffed his lines so terribly in the Dante, my sole each-way punt at Epsom will be MADHMOON (14/1 William Hill) .

Veteran trainer, Kevin Prendergast stated before the Guineas that Madhmoon’s performance in that Classic would dictate whether he would head to Epsom or not. Following a fourth-place finish, Prendergast stated that it would be all systems go for the Derby and this multiple Classic winning trainer wouldn’t send Madhmoon to Epsom if he wasn’t sure he was a stayer.

Many people say the Guineas is the best Trial for the Derby. Third is the worst any future Derby horse has finished in the Guineas since Generous came fourth in 1991. Like Generous, Madhmoon finished fourth at Newmarket earlier this month, but he was drawn on the slowest section of the track and stayed on gamely to snatch a pace after being outpaced coming through the dip.

The track at Epsom should suit Madhmoon much better than the Rowley Mile. Leopardstown, like Epsom, is a turning left-handed track Prendergast’s charge showed a great liking to last season, comfortably seeing off Broome to win the Group Two Champion Juvenile Stakes back in September. Yes, Madhmoon has been defeated twice since then, but he was nabbed by a race-fit rival over seven furlongs on soft ground on his reappearance and that run in the Guineas was extremely encouraging.

Madhmoon’s sire, Dawn Approach finished last in the 2013 Derby after romping to 2000 Guineas glory. His breeding may not suggest a mile-and-a-half will come naturally, but Prendergast thinks he’ll stay and everything my eyes have told me so far agrees with Madhmoon’s iconic trainer. 

2019 Epsom Derby Tips

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2019 Epsom Derby tips – Irish raider sitting on Mad price in Epsom’s most famous Classic

Our expert takes a look through the ante-post betting for this famous Classic and provides readers with his tips for Epsom on Saturday 1st June.

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