Over 15,000 thoroughbred foals are born each year and any of them could be a champion. At that point, no one knows what they could be but each breeder hopes that one of their foals can land the ‘blue ribbon’ horse race. Any of them could but only one will. This race can make or break dreams and aspirations. That’s because it’s The Derby and there is no other race like it.
Racing fans have gotten excited by the promise of Deep Impact colt Saxon Warrior. Aidan O’Brien’s horse bolted up in the 2000 Guineas causing even the most stone-faced of the racing pundits whispering his name and two little words ‘Triple’ and ‘Crown’ in the same sentence.
West Australian was the first horse to win the three races, The 2000 Guineas, The Derby and the St Leger, that make up the Triple Crown in 1853 and since then, fourteen horses have done the treble. Most recently, it was Nijinsky in 1970. Saxon Warrior showed glimpses of him in the way he quickened away from the rest of the field in the 2000 Guineas. He is bred to handle the Derby trip, being by Deep Impact, who won over this trip in his native Japan, and out of Maybe, an unbeaten two year old for Aidan O’Brien who won the full set of Class One races.
Stall One doesn’t have a very good record with producing winners but Saxon Warrior will be partnered by Ryan Moore so that boosts his chances. If any jockey can win from there, Ryan can.
It won’t be as easy as getting a good position and then kicking for home, the unbeaten colt has some nice horses to beat to get his head in front at the line. He runs again against Masar and Roaring Lion, who were behind him the 2000 Guineas, once again and also Derby Trial winner Knight To Behold.
Here is your runner by runner guide to the fourth and most prestigious classic of the season- The Derby.
1.Dee Ex Bee
(Farhh x Dubai Sunrise)
Mark Johnston and Silvestre De Sousa
👍 Course winner on heavy ground last year and will appreciate any cut in the ground. Comes to this from the same race as last year’s winner.
👎 Second to Young Rascal last time out. Untried over one mile four furlongs.
(Galileo x Again)
Seamie Heffernan and Aidan O’Brien
👍 Stayed on into second behind Hazapour last time out so might stay and has been running well and managing to place on every run since his maiden victory.
👎 Has been behind Hazapour, Saxon Warrior and Kew Gardens (reversed that form next time out) who are some of the well fancied runners so may struggle but seems to hold The Pentagon.
(Shamardal x Hazarafa)
Frankie Dettori and Dermot Weld
👍 Won the Leopardstown Derby Trial last time out beating Delano Roosevelt and The Pentagon. He won on soft ground over a mile.
👎 He doesn’t have any course form and he would prefer harder ground.
(Galileo x Chelsea Rose)
Donnacha O’Brien and Aidan O’Brien
👍 He has won on soft before and it is likely he will stay.
👎 He couldn’t get past Knight To Behold last time out and is the likely pace maker.
5.Knight To Behold
(Sea The Stars x Angel Of The Gwaun)
Richard Kingscote and Harry Dunlop
👍 Won the Lingfield Derby Trial so won’t have an issue with the trip and it is a positive for him that the ground is drying up. He’s the best each way shot.
👎 He got an easy lead last time out and the Aidan O’Brien horses didn’t fire but they are trained for the big races so might be able to reverse the form.
(New Approach x Khawlah)
William Buick and Charlie Appleby
👍 He was a very impressive winner of the Craven and then was a staying on in the 2000 Guineas.
👎 He ran over one mile one furlongs and was tenth of thirteen. That could put people off as that was the furthest he’s ever ran and he finished so poorly but the ground was fast that day and connections think he will stay and enjoy the cut in the ground.
(Kitten’s Joy x Vionnet)
Oisin Murphy and John Gosden
👍 He won the Dante well and his sire was very good over this trip.
👎 The field he beat was much inferior to him and this looks tougher. Disappointed in both the Craven (won by Masar) and 2000 Guineas (won by Saxon Warrior)
(Deep Impact x Maybe)
Ryan Moore and Aidan O’Brien
👍Won the 2000 Guineas and bred to stay. The ground is drying out so that is good for him.
👎 Hard to find one but stall one is a worry.
(Redoute’s Choice x Sevenna)
Rab Havlin and John Gosden
👍 Soft ground winner and ran well last time out.
👎 This will be very hard for him to win not up to the standard of the others.
(Galileo x Vadawina)
Wayne Lordan and Aidan O’Brien
👍 Won twice on good ground so his chances improve as the ground dries out.
👎Held by Delano Roosevelt and Hazapour last time out.
(Intello x Rock My Soul)
James Doyle and William Haggas
👍Won the Chester Vase well last time out and last year’s Derby winner last time out. He’ll suit the going. He was also the only horse to go to the Breakfast With The Stars.
👎The Chester Vase isn’t a very strong race and may struggle in this.
(Frankel x Moonlight’s Box)
Padraig Beggy and Aidan O’Brien
👍Was a decent third last time out in the Dante.
👎Worthy outsider. He doesn’t look good enough to win this based on his form.
SAXON WARRIOR seems the obvious winner and I love the chances of Knight To Behold. His win in the Trial was brilliant.