Saturday 4:30 EPSOM

The race every flat trainer wants to win. A race which defines your horse when it comes to stud. You win this race and the stud fee goes through the roof, Galileo and Sea The Stars just to name a few.

Do I think we have a superstar in the field this year?

Personally I don’t see a superstar in the field, what I see is a very competitive race with lots of value around.

It does have the making of a great Derby to watch but I don’t see a horse winning this by more than a length and nothing will leave this race with the word ‘superstar’ attached to him.

The Main Contenders

Cracksman – seems to be the talk of the race. Can he follow in the footsteps of Golden Horn for the same owners? He comes into this race with only 1 run this season and has only had 2 career starts. I personally think he lacks the experience and he will have his work cut out. You would have to think he needs big improvement on his last start. 4/1

Cliffs Of Moher – looks to be the main Aidan O’Brien hope and Ryan Moore will take the ride. He won the Homeserve Dee Stakes at Chester last month and looked as if a step up in trip would bring out further improvement. The one thing I would question is his ability to travel through the race especially with the undulations around Epsom. 4/1

Eminent – was an impressive winner at Newmarket in April beating a good horse in Rivet. He then went to the 2000 Guineas and came home 6th of 10. Eminent has a huge stride and I think the step up in trip will be the making of the horse. The derby normally produces a winner who is blessed with a bit of speed and this is my idea of a horse with a great chance. The son of Frankel will have question marks over staying the 1m 4f as along with Frankel, the dam didn’t run further than 1m 2f. I don’t think it will be a problem and to me looks like a horse who will get the trip. 7/1

Permian – Is he being overlooked by the Bookmakers?Permian – Finished a short head 2nd to Cracksman when the pair clashed here back in April. Permian was the winner everywhere but the line. That was the last time we saw Cracksman but Permian has since had 2 runs, winning both races convincingly. Permian has improved massively since the last time the pair met and if Cracksman is going to beat Permian again he needs to have improved massively, as simple as that. Permian won the Dante Stakes last time out and that has been a good trial for the Derby in recent years. He has speed combined with the ability to stay and is sure to be in the first 3 in my opinion. 11/1

At a price?

The Godolphin pair Best Solution and Dubai Thunder have been highly praised by connections this week but the one who we haven’t heard much about is the other Godolphin horse, Benbati.

Benbati finished just 3/4 length behind Permian last time out and he should improve for the step up in trip. The 25/1 looks a huge price.

Venice Beach looks an interesting contender. He won the Chester Vase last time out and for me it was a better performance than Cliffs Of Moher at the same course. You know this horse will stay all day long and will be thereabouts. 14/1.


I can’t get away from PERMIAN. I was on him in the Dante and I am on him in the Derby. The bookies simply are not given him the respect he deserves. If he was trained by John Gosden or Aidan O’Brien, you would be looking at the favourite, it is as simple as that. PERMIAN got beat by the shortest of heads to Cracksman at Epsom last month. He has had 2 runs since and has improved massively. You have got to have him ahead of the favourite in terms of improvement because PERMIAN has seen the racecourse more times. He is having his 5th run this season and experienced for a 3 year old. You won’t see many Dante winners priced up at 11/1. I am all over the horse at the price.

I think EMINENT will finish in front of the first two in the market and I think we will see a horse who improves for the step up in trip. He has this long stride which is suited to a course like Epsom and to me looks a perfect Derby horse. You need a touch of speed to go close in the Derby and he certainly has that. I don’t think we have seen the best of the horse.

I think BENBATI is also a huge price considering he finished just behind Permian in the Dante. As previously mentioned the Dante is a good trial for the Derby and to my surprise the winner and 2nd are available at odds of 11/1 and 25/1. Another horse who will improve.

1st: PERMIAN 11/1
2nd EMINENT 7/1
3rd BENBATI 25/1

NOTE – All odds are quoted at the time of publish (Thursday Midday)

Royal Ascot 2017

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