With 6 Derby winners to his name, Aidan O’Brien will be fielding up to 8 runners in this year’s Epsom Derby as he looks to match the achievements of legendary trainers Robert Robson, John Porter and Fred Darling of saddling 7 Derby winners.
The Ballydoyle maestro’s Derby winners have ranged in price from 8/13 with Camelot to most recently Wings Of Eagles at 40/1 so we have ranked who we think is most likely of his 8 to win this years renewal.
8th – SOVEREIGN – 33/1
Has finished behind Broome on his 2 runs his season and also finished behind Japan last year. If he lines up his job will be to lead them through the first mile and nothing more.
7th – CAPE OF GOOD HOPE – 33/1
The only one of the Aidan O’Brien octet to have course form after winning the Derby Trial at Epsom back in April. That form doesn’t look the strongest with none of those in behind showing much since.
His 2-year-old form is not too strong with a 2nd in the Superlative Stakes the pick, whilst no Aidan O’Brien horse can be readily overlooked for the Derby, this looks one of the weakest of the lot.
6th – CIRCUS MAXIMUS – 18/1
Another who won his trial at Chester and again led home an O’Brien 1-2. Not as visibly impressive as Sir Dragonet and was having to get niggled for a long way. The step up in trip will be in his favour but there are others needing more consideration
5th – BROOME – 4/1
Has won a pair of Group 3’s – the Ballysax and Derrinstown trials in good style and deserves his place near the top of the betting. Wouldn’t be too confident in what he has beaten this season but has won easily on both occasions so difficult to assess his full ability. Not sure he would be wanting the ground too quick.
4th – JAPAN – 9/1
Certainly a horse of great potential and will have plenty of big days ahead of him but the Derby may not be his day. He was the last of the O’Brien hopefuls to make his reappearance and should certainly improve a great deal from his Dante run. In time he’ll probably want further than this and the St Leger may be his classic but he has shortened considerably in the betting since his last run and is one for the shortlist.
3rd – NORWAY – 28/1
Finished 8 lengths behind Sir Dragonet in the Chester Vase but sweated up badly beforehand. He was also the choice of Ryan Moore that day which suggests the esteem they have for this horse. Has winning form on the predicted quick ground and if he handles the preliminaries this time round could be a real player.
2nd – SIR DRAGONET – 5/2
The most lightly raced of the Derby field who will be making just his 3rd career start. Probably the most impressive of the O’Brien Derby trail runners and from a race which has yielded recent Derby winners Wings Of Eagles and Ruler Of The World. The one with the most promise but his lack of racecourse experience could mean the Derby has come a race or 2 too soon for him
1st – ANTHONY VAN DYCK – 11/2
Looks a very solid Derby horse. Placed twice in Group Ones as a 2 year old and looked very good when landing the RaceBets sponsored Lingfield Derby Trial. This may not have been the strongest of the Trials on paper but he won it well, should improve a lot for the run, looks a definite stayer and could appreciate the quicker ground the most of his stablemates.