Roy The Boy looks at the Epsom Derby and he likes the look of Dante winner Roaring Lion.
Epsom’s Derby Form Pointers
Big Priced Winners are Rare
Wings of Eagles may have scored at 40/1 last year but a big priced Epsom Derby winner is an extremely rare occurrence. In fact, in the 18 years between 1999 and 2016, no winner started at an SP of greater than 7/1.
You would be losing 3pts if backing all favourites during the past 10 years, be 6pts ahead if backing second favourites and 13pts up if supporting the horse that started third in the betting.
Huge Priced Placed Runners
At First Sight finished runner-up in the 2010 Derby at 100/1. The maiden ‘Dragon Dancer’ filled the same position at 66/1 in 2006 (beaten a short-head) and, in 1989, Terimon finished third at 500/1!
Aidan O’Brien has won the Epsom Derby six times and Sir Michael Stoute has won the race five times. O’Brien has fielded 43 Derby runners in the past ten years netting four winners and eight placed finishers. Stoute boasts a winner and three placed horses from 14 runners in the same period.
Only six of the last 10 Epsom Derby winners scored on their previous start. Three were runners-up and one, Australia in 2014, finished third.
The form figures of ‘Derby Trial’ race winners read as follows:
Chester Vase: 450210720
Chester Dee: 8002
York’s Dante Stakes has been the best guide to the destination of the Epsom Derby. In 2015 Golden Horn won the Dante before claiming the Derby as did Authorised in 2007, Motivator in 2005 and North Light in 2004. 2010 Epsom Derby winner, Workforce, finished an unlucky second in that year’s Dante.
However, the 2000 Guineas has become a key stepping-stone and four of the last Derby winners were placed in the 2000 or won it (Sea The Stars and Camelot).
Trawling through all the facts and figures it is clear that you should probably only look at runners towards the head of the betting. Given the nature of the betting that means only Saxon Warrior and Roaring Lion count – being top-priced 8/11 and 7/1 at Betfair and William Hill respectively.
Saxon Warrior beat Roaring Lion into fifth in the 2000 Guineas but that runner was a convincing winner of the Dante 12 days later and that race remains the best Derby trial. If Roaring Lion had made his three year old debut in the Dante and not disappointed in the 2000, he would surely not be available at 7/1 now.
Craven Stakes winner Masar started favourite in the 2000 but finished third. Charlie Appleby has never won a Derby and this one was heavily campaigned as a two year old. That does not fit the profile of a Derby winner.
Gustav Klimpt, who finished sixth in the 2000 Guineas at odds of 4/1 is of real interest. A stablemate of Saxon Warrior, the O’Brien trained runner was a game fast finishing Group 2 winner at Newmarket (hampered and lost place 2f out) as a two-year-old and, being a son of Galileo, may well be screaming out for the Derby’s 12 furlong trip, but he looks an unlikely starter.
Aidan O’Brien always throws a lot of horses at the Derby (and Oaks) and his 40/1 winner last year, Wings of Eagles, was the biggest priced of his six runners he had in the race.
But we are looking for something beyond the obvious and it is obviously a choice of two with Roaring Lion representing the best value.
PREVIOUS DERBY WINNERS
2017 Wings Of Eagles Paddy Beggy Aidan O'Brien 40/1
2016 Harzand Pat Smullen Dermot Weld 13/2
2015 Golden Horn Frankie Dettori John Gosden 13/8 Fav
2014 Australia Joseph O'Brien Aidan O'Brien 11/8 Fav
2013 Ruler Of The World Ryan Moore Aidan O'Brien 7/1
2012 Camelot Joseph O'Brien Aidan O'Brien 8/13 Fav
2011 Pour Moi Mickael Barzalona Andre Fabre 4/1
2010 Workforce Ryan Moore M Stoute 6/1
2009 Sea The Stars Mick Kinane John Oxx 11/4
2008 New Approach Johnny Murtagh Jim Bolger 5/1
2007 Authorized Frankie Dettori Peter Chapple-Hyam 5/4 Fav
2006 Sir Percy Martin Dwyer Marcus Tregoning 6/1
2005 Motivator Johnny Murtagh Michael Bell 3/1 Fav
2004 North Light Kieren Fallon Sir Michael Stoute 7/2 JF
2003 Kris Kin Kieren Fallon Sir Michael Stoute 6/1
2002 High Chaparral Johnny Murtagh Aidan O'Brien 7/2
2001 Galileo Mick Kinane Aidan O'Brien 11/4 JF
2000 Sindaar Johnny Murtagh John Oxx 7/1
1999 Oath Kieren Fallon Henry Cecil 13/2
1998 High Rise Olivier Pesler Luca Cumani 20/1
Roaring Lion at 6/1 with Paddy Power and William Hill