Hurricane Lane holds High Definition on York form
Hurricane Lane holds High Definition on York form

Cazoo Derby tips: Rory Delargy horse by horse guide to the 2021 Epsom Classic including Bolshoi Ballet & Mac Swiney



Cazoo Derby (Group 1)

EXCLUSIVE: JOHN LEEPER PRICE BOOST
EXCLUSIVE: JOHN LEEPER PRICE BOOST


Adayar

Age: 3| Weight: 9-0| Jockey: Oisin Murphy | Trainer: Charlie Appleby| OR: 107

Charlie Appleby Derby update: The latest on Hurricane Lane, One Ruler, and Adayar

Runner-up in both the Classic Trial at Sandown and the Lingfield Derby Trial so far this term, and way he kept on last time pretty much assures his stamina. Had no excuses behind Third Realm at Lingfield, though, and may be too much of a grinder for this contest.

Bolshoi Ballet

Age: 3| Weight: 9-0| Trainer: Aidan O'Brien| OR: 117

Bolshoi Ballet was in a league of his own at Leopardstown
Bolshoi Ballet was in a league of his own at Leopardstown

Shot to the head of the betting when landing the Ballysax/Derrinstown double, and very impressive when beating Lough Derg by six lengths in latter event, with Mac Swiney (had excuses) behind. Claims are clear as day, but he did have a chance to showcase his full talent last time, and not certain to take another leap forward, which opens to the door to some degree.

Gear Up

Age: 3| Weight: 9-0| Trainer: Mark Johnston| OR: 112

Gear Up (yellow cap) wins the Acomb Stakes at York
Gear Up (yellow cap) wins the Acomb Stakes at York

Group 1 winner last year in the Criterium de Saint-Cloud (1¼m, heavy), and entitled to have been rusty when a staying-on fifth in the Dante Stakes at York. Longer trip will suit, and while softer ground would have been preferable, he seems quite an insulting price given his profile.

High Definition

Age: 3| Weight: 9-0| Trainer: Aidan O'Brien| OR: 115

High Definition wins the Beresford Stakes
High Definition wins the Beresford Stakes

Lost his unbeaten record, but improved in form terms when staying on strongly for third in the Dante. Had a setback prior to that, so should improve markedly, and will surely be suited by the Derby trip. Has taken time to warm to his task on all three outings, though, and his biggest problem may be gaining a good track position, which is so important at Epsom.

Hurricane Lane

Age: 3| Weight: 9-0| Jockey: William Buick | Trainer: Charlie Appleby| OR: 112

Hurricane Lane (blue silks) wins the Dante under William Buick
Hurricane Lane (blue silks) wins the Dante under William Buick

Put himself firmly in the picture by taking some notable scalps in the Dante Stakes, and stayed on so well at York that it’s hard to imagine the Derby trip will pose any problems. Appears the best of the home contingent on racecourse merit, and this unbeaten colt should arguably have gained more traction in the market than he has.

John Leeper

Age: 3| Weight: 9-0| Jockey: Adam Kirby | Trainer: Ed Dunlop| OR: 106

Ed Dunlop on John Leeper's Derby preparation

Out of connections’ Oaks heroine Snow Fairy, and named in honour of the trainer’s late father. Bare form of his win in a Listed race at Newmarket last time gives him plenty to find, but he’s clearly held in the highest esteem, and merits his place in the field.

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Mac Swiney

Age: 3| Weight: 9-0| Trainer: Jim Bolger| OR: 119

Mac Swiney shows a fine attitude to win the Irish 2,000 Guineas
Mac Swiney shows a fine attitude to win the Irish 2,000 Guineas

Has excellent credentials as the winner of the Group 1 Vertem Futurity and the Irish Guineas having scoped dirty behind Bolshoi Ballet in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial. Best form so far at a mile in the mud, but his sire made the same step up when winning this race in 2008, and folly to question the merits of a Jim Bolger Classic winner.

Mohaafeth

Age: 3| Weight: 9-0| Trainer: William Haggas| OR: 111

Mohaafeth is completely out on his own
Mohaafeth is completely out on his own

Has progressed markedly to win all three starts this year, and took the jump from handicap company in his stride when slamming his rivals in the Newmarket Stakes at the Guineas meeting. Form of that race is open to interpretation, but he won doing proverbial handsprings, and is clearly one to take seriously.

Mojo Star

Age: 3| Weight: 9-0| Trainer: Richard Hannon

Andrew Cooper provides an update on the ground conditions at Epsom ahead of the 2021 Derby & Oaks

Promise when runner-up on both starts to date at Newbury, most recently when finding only Manobo too strong in a 1¼m maiden last month, but while he looks a useful prospect, this steep rise in class asks questions he may not have the answers to.

One Ruler

Age: 3| Weight: 9-0| Trainer: Charlie Appleby| OR: 114

"is the form worthy of this horse being 6/4?" - Best bets for Cazoo Derby Day 2021

Autumn Stakes winner and second to Mac Swiney in the Vertem Futurity. Only sixth in the Guineas on return, but reportedly pleased connections in a spin round the track last Monday. No forlorn hope, but his sire failed to stay when third in 2005, and his own stamina for this trip must be in some doubt.

Southern Lights

Age: 3| Weight: 9-0| Trainer: Joseph O'Brien| OR: 104

Serpentine - where now for the Derby winner?
Serpentine in action

Just a maiden win to his name in three starts, and only sixth behind Bolshoi Ballet in the Derrinstown. No obvious chance of that, but plenty went wrong for him in that contest, and he’s the type to do much better down the line. This may come too soon on his learning curve, however.

Third Realm

Age: 3| Weight: 9-0| Trainer: Roger Varian| OR: 108

Third Realm is clear in the Lingfield Derby Trial
Third Realm is clear in the Lingfield Derby Trial

Won a Nottingham maiden on his return in April, and took a big step forward when landing the Lingfield Derby Trial last time, impressing with how well he handled the downhill run into the straight. That augurs well for his chances of handling Tattenham Corner, and while it was soft and Lingfield, the going was quick for his maiden win. Shortlisted.

Youth Spirit

Age: 3| Weight: 9-0| Trainer: Andrew Balding| OR: 111

Youth Spirit (centre) burst through to win the Chester Vase
Youth Spirit (centre) burst through to win the Chester Vase

Juvenile campaign finished before his stamina was fully tested; may have needed his return after a lengthy break, and much improved when landing the Chester Vase last time by 1¾ lengths from Sandhurst. That came on soft ground, and two runs on quick turf have seen him miss the places, which is a concern if the weather remains fair.


Who will win the Cazoo Derby?

It’s hard to imagine that the track has been watered in recent days after the dreadful spring we’ve endured, and it may pay to tread carefully with those who have shown their form on a softer surface. Bolshoi Ballet showed his best form last time on the fastest turf he’s faced to date, and that makes him look a very solid option, for all there is an element of him showing his hand more than others with his Derrinstown romp. In short, he’s the likeliest winner, but may not have quite the chance his official rating implies. Of his stable’s other entries, Van Gogh has had the best preparation, and as a son of Oaks winner Imagine, may do better at this trip than a mile. High Definition was regarded as the pre-season pick, and is sure to improve for his run in the Dante, but his route here has been slightly rushed, and he may pay a price for that at a track which takes no prisoners.

Mohaafeth is the hardest horse to weigh up as he’s seemingly not beaten much, but has looked to have plenty to spare in doing so. He is one horse who would relish rattling fast ground, and enters the equation if the sun keeps shining. Third Realm and Youth Spirit have both won traditional trials in good style, although both came on soft ground. The latter in particular looks a thorough stayer who might be found out in a test of speed, but Third Realm has won on good to firm, and moved beautifully down the hill at Lingfield. He’s one for the shortlist whatever the weather does.

Dante winner HURRICANE LANE beat the former Derby favourite High Definition by two lengths, and shapes as if he will relish the extra distance at Epsom, so it’s hard to see why the handicapper rates him inferior to that horse, and merely on a par with Gear Up. That win was the best English trial for the Derby, and I would have expected the impressive winner to be shorter than he is in the betting. He looks the value play at the time of writing, while if I had to nominate a rank outsider, I’d put Southern Lights up as one who is much better than he showed behind Bolshoi Ballet last time, and not the forlorn hope that formline would suggest.

1. HURRICANE LANE

2. Bolshoi Ballet

3. Third Realm

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Timeform Race Passes offer


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