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Betfred Derby preview: David Ord horse-by-horse guide and tips

A possible field of 20 remain for Saturday's Betfred Derby. Check out David Ord's horse-by-horse guide and selection.

Betfred Derby

  • When: 4.30, Saturday June 1
  • Where: Epsom Downs
  • First prize: £850,650
  • Going: Soft
  • TV: ITV & Racing TV

Sky Bet odds | Paddy Power | Betfair Sportsbook


Took his form to a new level stepped up to a mile-and-a-half in the Lingfield trial and if City Of Troy misfires he looks one of the main potential beneficiaries. Trip clearly no issue, track shouldn’t be, but he’ll need to settle for new jockey Rab Havlin as he can be keen and Derby day will expose any weaknesses on that front.


Big player on his two-year-old form but was some way below that level when brushed aside by Economics in the Dante. Perectly plausible that he bumped into an A-lister there and that he’ll come forward plenty for the run. A step up to a mile-and-a-half will definitely suit – as will more rain showers – but the camber of Epsom? That might be another issue.

Ancient Wisdom wins the Futurity Trophy
Ancient Wisdom wins the Futurity Trophy


It took him four goes to open his account but his autumn defeat of Inisherin is looking better all the time and he was always holding Defiance in the Blue Riband Trial here on his reappearance. Despite being a big colt, he handled the track well and should stay a mile-and-a-half but he’ll need a few of the big guns to have an off-day if he’s to win a Derby.


Look, we just don’t know. All the brilliance and power that catapulted him to potential stardom at two were missing as he completely bombed out as 4/6 favourite in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas. Yes, we’ve been here before, only last year, and again no physical explanation was forthcoming for the Newmarket flop. Aidan O’Brien puts it down to him being too fresh and his heart already being in overdrive when the stalls opened. If he’s the City Of Troy of 2023 - and if he stays - he surely wins. It means it's a Derby of ifs.

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Sprang a 50/1 surprise in the Ballysax on his return to earn a shot at this. Was beaten a long way by the absent Arabian Crown in the Zetland at two and his chance on Saturday seems very much down to how much rain Epsom gets. If it gets testing, he’ll shorten in the market. If it doesn’t, then he has a mountain to climb.


A sporting roll of the dice from connections having looked unlucky not to win the French 2000 Guineas on his return. He has the talent to make his presence felt but it’s all down to how effective he will be over the new trip. It’s half-a-mile further than he’s ever been before but the pedigree offers some hope being a son of Camelot out of a mare who stayed 10 furlongs. I hope he runs well.


Has his quirks but talent too having finished fourth behind Ancient Wisdom in the Futurity at Doncaster in the autumn. Returned to win a Windsor maiden as his form entitled him to and shortened up after apparently impressing Jim Crowley with a spin around Epsom last week. Owner has had horses run well at huge prices in this before but this one's overall profile doesn't scream 'Derby winner'.


Son of Frankel who cost just shy of 2,000,000 guineas as a yearling. Has had two runs this term and is progressive, chasing home Los Angeles in the Leopardstown trial last time. More to come from him this season but no obvious reason why he’ll be able to reel in his stablemate this time around.


Classic dream appeared to flounder when last of four in the Chester Vase and a well beaten fifth in the Dante in the space of a week this month. Hard to make any case for.


All-weather maidens can be the springboard to Classic success but he wouldn’t as much be breaking new ground as shattering it if he was to follow up a three lengths defeat of Sardinian Warrior at Kempton in December with Derby victory on his very next start.


Wasn’t the strongest Group One he won at two and was only workmanlike in winning the Leopardstown trial on his return (replay below). However, he was never stronger than at the line that day and will devour the mile-and-a-half on Saturday. His straightforward nature would suggest track and occasion won’t be an issue. Looks very solid.

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Well bred and in good hands, he wasn’t seen to best advantage when second to Arabian Crown at Sandown on his return. This looks his trip, he’ll surely come forward a good chunk for that run and the Ralph Beckett team are ticking over nicely now. Some positives for all he needs a career best to even hit the frame.


Well bred son of Galileo but nothing in three starts in maidens to suggest he’s going to be the next son of the great stallion to win a Derby.

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He’s returned an improved performer and one who will relish going up to the Derby trip but impossible to make a case for him on form.


Supplemented by connections off the back of a Chelmsford maiden win in May. There was nothing wrong with that performance – but nothing in it to suggest he’ll be winning a Derby next time either.


Richard Hannon and Julie Wood have already tried to go from a Newbury maiden win on debut to Classic glory this season with Star Style, who failed to fire in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket. Take two is with this son of Golden Horn, who defied market weakness to thump Vanish and co at the Berkshire track in April. He looked destined for better things that day but this is one helluva leap.


A race that revolves around City Of Troy. If he’s back somewhere near the level he was operating at as a juvenile then something has to take a significant leap forward to beat him – and candidates on that front are thin on the ground.

If he isn’t, well this is a Derby that’s up for grabs. Ambiente Friendly laid down a marker at Lingfield but needs to be tractable for his new rider, while ease in the ground and a step up to a mile-and-a-half are what connections and supporters of Dante second Ancient Wisdom are clinging to.

Macduff is a potential improver for the Beckett team but LOS ANGELES looks the solid play. He’ll relish the trip, handle the track and seems likely to go forward in the race. We’ve seen it before from apparent Ballydoyle second and third-strings and this one is unexposed, straightforward and an improving Group One winner.

Updated at 1010 BST on 30/05/24

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