Sing when you're winning
Our Mark Crellin goes through the runners in Saturday's Investec Derby and is keen to take on the favourite at Epsom.
Our Mark Crellin goes through the runners in Saturday's Investec Derby and is keen to take on the favourite at Epsom. AROD Trainer: Peter Chapple-Hyam. Jockey: Jamie Spencer Off the mark in a Windsor maiden in April and then improved again to run second to subsequent French Derby winner The Grey Gatsby in the Dante at York. However, Chapple-Hyam's previous Derby winner, Authorized, romped home by four lengths in the Dante, so this fellow may be more of an each-way contender. Rating: 5/10 AUSTRALIA Trainer: Aidan O'Brien. Jockey: Joseph O'Brien Has been hyped to a degree that would make Champion the Wonder Horse blush but showed there was plenty of substance to the big talk when he was beaten less than a length into third in the 2000 Guineas. Could well turn out to be the classiest of these in the long run but a testing mile and a half at Epsom unlikely to be his optimal conditions and a laughably short price for such a strong race. Rating: 6/10 EBANORAN Trainer: John Oxx. Jockey: Declan McDonogh Oxx is a great trainer who knows what is required to win this race and this colt was first past the post in the Group 3 Derby Trial at Leopardstown in May, only to be demoted for bumping into Fascinating Rock. Not discounted but others enter the race with stronger credentials and not certain to improve again for the extra two furlongs. Rating: 4/10 FASCINATING ROCK Trainer: Dermot Weld. Jockey: Pat Smullen Progressing nicely and was awarded the Derrinstown Trial last time after he was bumped close home, having already landed the Ballysax Stakes at Navan in good style. Has not really caught the imagination of punters and may lack the innate brilliance of many winners of this great race but should not be far away.Rating: 7/10 GEOFFREY CHAUCER Trainer: Aidan O'Brien. Jockey: Ryan Moore Poetry in motion during an unbeaten two-year-old career but third behind the above two horses in a messy race at Leopardstown on his return to the fray. Did not get much of a run there so could easily turn the tables and, as his namesake memorably wrote in 'The Canterbury Tales': "Happy will thy fortunes be, if you back R Moore in the Epsom Derby". Rating: 7/10 IMPULSIVE MOMENT Trainer: Andrew Balding. Jockey: David Probert Chased home Western Hymn in the Classic Trial and that may prove decent form so, with the mile and a half trip likely to suit, he could be best of the massive outsiders. Rating: 6/10 KINGFISHER Trainer: Aidan O'Brien. Jockey: Colm O'Donoghue Won the Dee Stakes at Chester but that did not look one of the stronger trials and was well beaten at Navan previously. As suggested by the betting, looks the least likely of Aidan O'Brien's runners to feature.Rating: 3/10 KINGSTON HILL Trainer: Roger Varian. Jockey: Andrea Atzeni Won the Racing Post Trophy last year, which often proves a great guide to the Derby, and not much wrong with his staying-on effort to be eighth in the Guineas on his return. The ground should be softer and more to his liking here so this strong stayer looks sure to take a hand in the finish. Rating: 9/10 ORCHESTRA Trainer: Aidan O'Brien. Jockey: Seamie Heffernan Ryan Moore got a good tune out of this Galileo colt when he defied signs of inexperience to narrowly win the Chester Vase but he has jumped ship in favour of Geoffrey Chaucer this time, handing the baton to Heffernan. However, the apparent Ballydoyle pecking order is often up-ended in the Derby (High Chaparral in 2002 and Ruler Of The World last year beat better-fancied stablemates, Dylan Thomas was just touched off at 25/1 in 2006) and the likeable Orchestra could easily have this lot dancing to his tune. Rating: 8/10 OUR CHANNEL Trainer: William Haggas. Jockey: Silvestre De Sousa Edged home in the Derby Trial at Epsom in April but that event usually has as much relevance to the big race itself as The Dog and Duck v The Bull and Bush has to the World Cup final. Hard to fancy. Rating: 1/10 PINZOLO Trainer: Charlie Appleby. Jockey: James Doyle Stayed on nicely for a Listed win at Newmarket last time but well-beaten on his previous effort at Group 1 level and may be more of a St Leger type for later in the season. Rating: 2/10 RED GALILEO Trainer: Ed Dunlop. Jockey: Oisin Murphy Only one win from six starts, in a minor race at Kempton, and well-beaten in two runs this season, so needs an upset of England winning a penalty shoot-out proportions to feature here. Rating: 0/10 ROMSDAL Trainer: John Gosden. Jockey: Richard Hughes Only made his debut this year but progressing fast and almost won the Chester Vase last time. Significant that he has been supplemented into the field for this by shrewd connections but may have been flattered to finish so close last time and will do well to recoup their outlay. Rating: 5/10 SUDDEN WONDER Trainer: Charlie Appleby. Jockey: Kevin Manning Won a valuable race at Newmarket on his return but did not really advertise his Derby claims when only third in the Lingfield Trial and the bookies will be popping the champagne corks if this lad comes home in front. Rating: 2/10 TRUE STORY Trainer: Saeed bin Suroor. Jockey: Kieren Fallon Looked every inch an Epsom Derby winner when romping to a seven-length victory at Newmarket in April but then looked every inch a Donkey Derby winner when a somewhat laboured third in the Dante. Should better that form here but Godolphin do not have a brilliant record in this race and others at bigger prices come here on more of a high. Rating: 4/10 WESTERN HYMN Trainer: John Gosden. Jockey: William Buick Had clock-watchers drooling with excitement when he scored at Kempton last year, and has maintained his unbeaten record this season with good wins at Newbury and Sandown. A son of Derby winner High Chaparral, he should be well suited by a mile and a half on decent ground, and it is a surprise he is not a shorter price. Master trainer John Gosden won the Derby in 1997 with Benny The Dip, who was second in the Sandown race this colt won last time. Rating: 10/10 VERDICT Aidan O'Brien has won this race for the last two years and Australia is strongly-fancied to give him another Epsom success. However, the favourite may be given all he can handle by stablemate Orchestra, Racing Post Trophy winner Kingston Hill and John Gosden's Western Hymn, who has won all three of his starts and gets the vote to win what could be a vintage renewal. 1 WESTERN HYMN 2 Kingston Hill 3 Orchestra
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