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The Epsom Derby - Saturday June 3rd

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Wide open this yearwith Churchill a no show  so worth a look ante post ...

Venice beach  99.17

Yucatan   99.13

Capri   99,13

Cracksman  99.11

A o brien will have to choose from his 6 or so principles and no doubt we will see some gallop reports emerging in the coming days but currently the best value in the ante post market is his Venice beach who's win the Chester vase is currently probably the best piece of form on offer  ....sized by Galileo and improving fast he has the perfect profile for a derby and 16/1 looks fabulous value if o brien runs him ....yucatan doesn't have such a strong profile but looks decent still at 16/1 ....cracksman is an improving type but still has a lot to prove so 100/30 looks a bit silly and Capri might be better over shorter ...overall I'm prepared to jump the gun and invest in Venice beach at 16/1and hope o brien sees his potential in the coming days in which case the price will look silly 

Venice beach 10pts ew 16/1 will hill 

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I agree Jimmy, it really does look a very average race at the moment, maybe something will go and win by 10 lengths!

Still if it does they will say it beat nothing wont they, i'm sort of hoping Mark Johnston can win the race from a purely personal view, I think he has some good horses to Godolphin and the likes and its nice that kept Permian, he could go well at a big enough price.


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  • BillyHills changed the title to The Epsom Derby - Saturday June 3rd

Derby Preview

This years Derby looks wide open with 11 horses within 3lbs of each other on RPRs. Cliffs of Moher and Cracksman are worthy favourites as the leading hopes from the two most powerful stables in both Ireland and Britain but they are probably short enough at the moment. Cracksman only just managed to beat Permian, who definitely has improved since then and Cliffs Of Moher's form ties in with that. The other horse priced at single figures is Eminent who ran a disappointing race in the Guineas after winning the Craven at Newmarket. He looked like he will appreciate the step up in trip but like we saw with Rhododendron in today's Oaks, stepping up half a mile is a tough ask and there are plenty of other unexposed types.

Given the shape of the race I prefer to look at something at a bigger price. The Dante was run in a quick time and out of the bigger priced horses may be the trial to focus on. Permian finished the stronger running the final 3f in 35.4s (Timeform Sectional Debrief) beating Benbatl by 3/4L who's run seemed to peter out finishing the final 3f in 55.77s. On that basis Permian looks the better prospect stepping up the the Derby trip.

However I think Benbatl is the one that has been overlooked by the market. He's made startling progress this season winning a maiden at Doncaster on his debut before stepping forward to run a good race in the Craven despite running keen in the early stages. Because of that he looked unlikely to be suited to the Dante test over an extended 10f at this early stage of his career but he made another big step forward to finish 2nd that day, taking after so many other sons of Dubawi who progress so well with racing.

Although there is a light stamina doubt given the way he finished, that may have been because he still showed bits of inexperience in the early stages running a little free. If he makes another step forward tomorrow and the first time hood helps him he may actually see out the Derby trip just fine like his grand dam who was narrowly beaten in the Oaks.

Back to the hood, interestingly his trainer Saeed Bin Suroor has a terrific record when his horses run with that piece of headgear. From 57 runners in a first time hood, 15 have won with an Actual/Expected winners of 1.41. His other runners in a hood run at a healthy 1.11 Actual/Expected winners from 66 runs.

With all things considered I reckon Benbatl has been overlooked in the market. Although there is a stamina doubt I think he's young horse learning fast and if the hood does the trick I wouldn't be surprised one bit to see him fighting out the finish. At the prices he's worth a shot with SkyBet top price and offering 5 places.

4.30 Epsom - Benbatl e/w @ 25/1 SkyBet (5 place)

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