Investec Derby stats

  • By: Ian Ogg
  • Last Updated: June 4 2014, 17:18 BST

Sticking to the letter of the stats would mean putting a line straight through the favourite, Australia, and second favourite, Geoffrey Chaucer, as neither managed to finish first or second last time out.

Australia can justify favouritism in the Derby, according to our stats man Ian Ogg.
Australia can justify favouritism in the Derby, according to our stats man Ian Ogg.

A top-two finish is something that all of the winners in the last decade have managed on their preceding start (eight had won their ‘prep’ race) but to rule the market leaders out on that basis alone would clearly be a fairly ridiculous thing to do.

Australia was only beaten a head for the runner-up spot in the Guineas by a subsequent Classic winner while his stablemate may well have finished second (or better) in the Derrinstown with a clear run and both colts put up strong performances in proven Derby trials and represent the stable that has won the last two renewals.

Camelot managed to win the 2000 Guineas but there seems little doubt that this year’s renewal possessed far more depth and Australia ran a lovely Derby trial for a colt bred for middle distances, much like Sea The Stars had in 2009.

The Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial hasn’t provided the winner since Galileo and High Chaparral in 2001/02 but Dylan Thomas was only beaten by a short-head and a head in 2006 while Battle of Marengo was a close fourth 12 months ago.

The Dante Stakes (Arod second and True Story third) and 2000 Guineas have provided eight winners with the Chester Vase (Orchestra) and Prix Greffulhe completing the list.

Workforce was famously, of course, the first horse beaten in the Dante to go on to win on the Downs.

He may well have won at York but for the bit slipping through his mouth and connections of Arod (inexperience, too far out of his ground) and True Story (off day, failed to handle going) may well suggest their colts had valid excuses for failing to better The Grey Gatsby who did his bit for the form at Chantilly on Sunday.

All of the Derby winners have come from the first five in the betting with Ruler Of The World the longest at 7/1 and, although Treasure Beach was only beaten a head at 25/1 and At First Sight was a distant second at 100/1, this is not a race where it has recently paid to take a chance with the outsiders for win-only purposes.

It’s quite possible that only three horses will go off at 7/1 or shorter given Australia’s domination of the market.

Galileo and Montjeu have been responsible for six of the winners between them (others were sired by Cape Cross, King’s Best, Mark of Esteem and Danehill) and they are represented by the two market leaders as well as Impulsive Moment, Kingfisher and Orchestra.

Australia is also out of the brilliant racemare and Oaks winner Ouija Board and this first attempt beyond a mile will surely unlock significant improvement.

Cases can be made for both Geoffrey Chaucer (who was reported to have beaten the favourite in a gallop at home) and the lesser-fancied Orchestra but it’s very hard to get away from Australia who can be forgiven for ‘only’ finishing third in the Guineas.

Investec Derby 10-year stats

  • Winners have been priced between 8/13 and 7/1 with four successful favourites (including joint).
  • Winners have been drawn between 3 and 14 with seven in single figures.
  • All of the winners finished either first or second on their preceding start, eight were successful.
  • All of the winners had their prep race in May.
  • Winners had raced between two and seven times with eight having between two and four career starts.
  • Only three winners were unbeaten; four had only been beaten on debut.
  • All of the winners had won at least 50% of their careers starts.
  • Nine winners had raced as a juvenile (Ruler of the World the exception), with 8 making their debuts no earlier than July.
  • Nine winners had won at Group Three level or higher.