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Thursday 4 June 2015

Epsom Derby Outsiders

With four winning favourites in the last ten years and no winner longer than 7/1 in that period, the Derby, held on Saturday 6th June,  shouldn’t really be one for us. Nevertheless, the Derby is the Derby, so rather than hold our ‘manhoods cheap’, we’ve rowed in with a couple that we think should give us a run for our money at long odds.

Aidan O’Brien, as usual, makes life difficult for punters by saddling Giovanni Canaletto (7/1), Hans Holbein (16/1) and Kilimanjaro (20/1), but the last-named is 2-2 since stepped up to middle distances this season and may have been underestimated by the bookmakers. The son of High Chaparral has 15lb or more to find with the likes of Elm Park, Golden Horn and Success Days on official ratings, but has already gone up 15lb in the weights, courtesy of his defeat of Magic Dancer and the Christophermarlowe (rated 109) in the Derby Trial Stakes at Lingfield four weeks ago, and may have more to offer.

Success Days (16/1) is another who’s unbeaten as a 3-year-old and took the step up in class and distance in his stride when winning the Ballysax Stakes and the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial Stakes – both Group 3 contests over 1 mile 2 furlongs at Leopardstown – in recent months. He’s earned a 17lb rise in the weights since the start of the season, which means he has little or nothing to find with most of these on official ratings. He’s done all his recent winning on soft or heavy ground, which he won’t encounter at Epsom unless the scattered thunderstorms forecast for the South East on Friday are worse than expected, but he also won on good to yielding going at Gowran Park last season, so may not be entirely ground dependent.

Last, but not least, Moheet (50/1) has been abandoned by Frankie Dettori – who, unsurprisingly, prefers the unbeaten ante post favourite Golden Horn (13/8) – but Richard Hannon’s colt probably needed the run on his reappearance in the Craven Stakes at Newmarket in April and reversed the form with the winner, Kool Kompany, in the 2,000 Guineas, despite suffering a nightmare passage through the race. The High Chaparral colt has yet to race beyond a mile, but middle distances could be the making of him and if there is a ‘dark’ horse in the race, he’s it!

Selections: Moheet (50/1 with Bet465, Stan James and 888Sport), Kilimanjaro (20/1 generally available) and Success Days (16/1 generally available).

Good luck!