Epsom Derby 2018 – Dante Form points to Roaring Lion as the Bet

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!

Five Timers

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.

Last Timers

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.

Trial Results

The form figures of ‘Derby Trial’ race winners read as follows:

Dante:              2032140

Lingfield:          0658

Chester Vase:  450210720

Chester Dee:   8002

Derrinstown:    325648007

Best Trials

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.





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