Friday, June 05, 2009

Epsom Derby 2009

For those who like to make up their own mind, there's my Twitter Guide to the Derby; for everyone else, there's this...

The biggest priced winner of the Epsom Derby in the last ten years was Sinndar in 2000 - he was sent off a 7/1 chance; generally the market proves a decent guide to this race. This year, five of the twelve runners are priced 8/1 or less; of those five, two are doubtful stayers - Sea The Stars and Rip Van Winkle. John Oxx, trainer of market leader Sea The Stars, is on record as saying he only gives his charge a '50-50 chance' of staying the trip. The horse looked impressive winning the 2000 Guineas from Delegator but the second that day has followed up since by running something of a stinker in the Irish Guineas. Aidan O'Brien saddles six of the twelve runners; the stable's number one jockey Johnny Murtagh has opted to ride Rip Van Winkle. Rip was fourth behind Sea The Stars at Newmarket but the yard was under something of a cloud at the time. After that race Johnny expressed doubts as to whether the horse would stay; Rip was quoted a 10/1 shot for this - I wrote a piece highlighting the value, provided you took the view the horse would stay. The value has gone now, primarily because Mr Murtagh is clearly sweet on the horse's chance; in my heart of hearts, I don't think he'll quite last home. Fame And Glory has had the classic preparation for this classic; he is unbeaten, won the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial and looks guaranteed to stay. Gan Amhras was third behind Sea The Stars at Newmarket but looks certain to appreciate the extra half mile; trainer Jim Bolger won this last year with New Approach and has said this horse has a similar chance. Of the top five, I find Black Bear Island the most difficult to assess; he looks certain to improve for his victory in the Dante.

This is a hot renewal; I have to go with a horse that will last home and I'm finding it difficult to separate Fame And Glory and Gan Amhras. There has been steady money for Gan Amhras during the week but 4/1 the unbeaten Fame And Glory looks good value - I take Fame And Glory to collect the spoils. For those looking for an each-way longshot, Mick Channon sold me Montaff's chance a week ago. Mick rates this horse on a par with Youmzain; the horse, by Montjeu, will need to handle the preliminaries but is 66/1 with Victor Chandler this evening. He had had an interrupted preparation when just beaten by Age Of Aquarius at Lingfield and looks open to improvement. The same comment applies to the winner that day too, but, although front-running probably didn't suit, he still looked a bit of a tricky ride and didn't appear to handle the turn that well. Having said all that, it took Johnny Murtagh an age to pull up Age Of Aquarius after the finishing line...

Good luck to one and all!


GeeDee said...

The best horse in the paddock was the best horse in the race, Sea The Stars (11/4) making pre-race doubts about his ability to stay look foolish. Kinane, 50 in a couple of weeks' time, rode a fine race; once he sent his charge on at the furlong pole, the spoils were in the bag. Fame And Glory (9/4f) followed him home, albeit a respectful one and three quarter lengths behind. The horse opened 4/1 on course but went off favourite after layers took some pretty lumpy bets; that money stayed in the bookmakers' satchels. The Aidan O'Brien trained runners Masterofthehorse (16/1), Rip Van Winkle (6/1) and Golden Sword (25/1) filled the next three places. Crowded House was the first British trained runner home in sixth; I'm sure connections will be thrilled with that after their charge had missed work following the Dante. In my blog post I said Mick Channon sold me Montaff's chance last week; I'm thinking of asking him for a money refund. The 40/1 shot raced mid-divsion until the turn into the home straight from whence he weakened to finish stone-cold last.

Sandracer said...

I watched the derby and saved my money.

I find these races where these top rated young horses have never done the distance impossible to fathom.

That pretty much goes for all the flat race classics.

Even the trainers have no idea what's really going to happen, as evidenced by you paying attention to what Channon has to say.


GeeDee said...

Agree with you, Sandracer; I've only once had the Derby winner in over thirty years. Yet every year the Trials come around and the self-discipline deserts me. Next year I'm going to concentrate on summer jumping, honest ;-)