2021 Derby Ante-Post Preview – 50/1 Shot Looks The Play!

Adayar can cause a huge shock in Saturday's DerbyAdayar can cause a huge shock in Saturday's Derby

Cazoo Derby Ante-Post Preview

We are back at the Epsom Downs this weekend for the Derby – viewed by many trainers, owners, breeders and punters as the most famous race in the world. This year’s Derby field looks wide-open, and therefore our expert tipster has produced their ante-post preview of the race. Check out their thoughts below.

Aidan O’Brien Once Again Holds The Aces

If you’d have said at the start of the season that we’d be looking at a short-priced Aidan O’Brien trained Derby favourite in 2021, many would have suggested that it would be High Definition being described. Yet, it is almost certain to be stablemate Bolshoi Ballet who goes off favourite for Saturday’s race.

Bolshoi Ballet had some useful form to his name as a juvenile, yet he has improved out of all recognition over the winter, returning this season with two facile Leopardstown victories.

It is difficult to argue with his market position on the back of those performances, particularly on the most recent which came in a solid renewal of the Derrinstown Stakes.

The only obvious negatives over Bolshoi Ballet are that all three career wins have now come at Leopardstown (0-2 elsewhere), and his 6/4 price – which looks on the short side for a race as competitive as the Derby.

Lightly-Raced Newmarket Challengers Lurk

Slightly further down the Derby betting list are three lightly-raced colts that reside in separate Newmarket yards. First up is John Leeper, who burst onto the scene with an ultra-impressive Newcastle win.

John Leeper stepped forward on that showing when landing a Listed contest at Newmarket last month, and his pedigree screams classic winner – with his dam the same connections 2010 Oaks winner Snow Fairy.

The doubts surrounding him focus on experience, with this just his fourth ever career start, and ground – withdrawn when faced with fast ground earlier this year.

William Haggas send Mohaafeth to Epsom in his bid for a first Derby winner in 25 years. This colt is a perfect 3-3 this season, his most recent win coming in effortless fashion at Newmarket.

This is a whole new ballgame, however, and whether that form can truly be taken at face value remains to be seen.

Third Realm is a fellow Newmarket resident – and another who is unbeaten so far this season. His latest victory in the Lingfield Derby Trial (a good recent guide for this), marks him down as a serious contender, yet purely on that Lingfield showing it is a little surprising to see the runner-up ADAYAR trading at as big as 50/1.

Adayar marked himself down as a serious prospect when demolishing 13 rivals at Nottingham last October, and he has run with credit in defeat in both starts so far this season, finishing fast on both occasions yet just failing to get his head in front.

Those efforts suggest that a fast run 1m4f could well prove to be his optimum, and his yard know what it takes to land this having sent out the 2018 winner Masar.

Oisin Murphy has already been snapped up for the ride, and if they expectantly go hard early on Saturday expect to see Adayar to be doing all his best work late once again.

2021 Cazoo Derby Ante-Post Selection