2017: The worst Epsom Derby ever?
The most damning indictment as regards the quality of the 2017 Epsom Derby betting market, as currently constructed, concerns the fact that the 5/1 ante-post favourite Churchill has Storm Cat on the damside of his pedigree (he is out of G2 Queen Mary S. runner-up Meow). Whilst it has long been the Holy Grail of the boys at Ballydoyle to get a top class middle distance horse, out of a Storm Cat mare, the performance of said horses in the top middle distance races has been terrible.
O'Brien's Capri won the Group 2 Beresford Stakes at the Curragh over a distance of 1 mile (1,609 metres). The stable had previously landed the race fifteen times, with the likes of Septimus, Eagle Mountain and St Nicholas Abbey. Of O'Brien's sixteen winners of the race none went on to win the Epsom Derby. Capri subsequently went on to be a well beaten third in the Criterium de Saint-Cloud on soft ground.
O'Brien's Yucatan and Exemplar finished second and third behind Capri in the Beresford. Regarding the performance of the three horses O'Brien was quoted as saying;
They coped with that ground well and had to have a lot of ability to do that. Capri travelled smoothly and picked up very well and at the moment he’s doing everything right. I was very impressed with all three colts. They went a nice pace and came up the middle, so they had to learn. Capri is a nice-moving horse and should prefer better ground (Why O'Brien did you then run him in the Criterium de Saint-Cloud on soft ground?). All three should definitely get a mile and a quarter and if they are good over that, they should get a mile and a half. They are all bred for it. Ryan was very happy. He kept quickening and was surprised they came with him. Next week could be a bit quick for them to run again, but we certainly will look at the [G1] Racing Post Trophy [at Doncaster Oct. 22] for all three. You learn the same as we do when we run them against each other. Sometimes we get surprised and sometimes not. (Well there you go....). Yucatan was put in his place by Rivet in the Racing Post Trophy.
The Hugo Palmer trained Escobar retains a place in the betting market, despite the fact that he was well and truly beaten in the Tattersalls Stakes at Newmarket. Palmer's Best of Days scraped home in the Royal Lodge Stakes. The presence of The Anvil and Arcada in second and third does not augur well as regards the future, and we have to go right back to 1996 and Benny the Dip to find the last horse that won this race and then went on to enjoy success at Epsom.
Fabre's highly regarded Waldgeist by Galileo out of the daughter of Monsun Waldlerche was an impressive winner of the Prix de Fontenoy at Chantilly at September 8 sent off at 3-10 favourite. (The race was run over a mile, but it should be remembered that Fabre's Epsom Derby winner Pour Moi won and raced over 9fs at two). He was well beaten in the Prix de Conde (Group 3) with no obvious excuses, before stepping up in trip and turning out an easy winner of the Criterium de Saint-Cloud. Fabre also has two interesting types in Franz Schubert and Pharaonic, who could, as they say, be anything.
There was much to like about the manner in which Sir John Lavery went about winning his maiden at Gowran on soft to heavy in October, and he looks open to significant improvement at three. Prior to his victory at Gowran he finished third (16/1) on his debut in a 9f maiden at the Curragh won by Grandee. His stablemate Galilean, who finished fourth in that race, subsequently hacked up in a maiden race at Cork. However, it remains to be seen whether either of these horses have sufficient stamina on the dam side to win an Epsom Derby. Fabre's Akihiro is a nice type, but looks every inch a French Derby winner on breeding. As per usual Gosden has a couple of dark horses in the betting market, Cracksman and Tartini, both of whom won back-end maidens. I would not say that these were obvious Epsom Derby winners as regards pedigree.
A horse that did catch the eye with regard to Epsom, and that has, for now, gone under the radar as regards the Epsom Derby is O'Brien's Cliffs of Moher. Well beaten on his racecourse debut at Cork on 15 october 2016, he turned out two weeks later in a maiden at Leopardstown, comfortably winning by 5 1/2ls from his stablemate Orderofthegarter (since won twice).
2017 Epsom Derby Pedigrees.
|Escobar||Famous Name||Saying Grace||Brief Truce||8.6f|
|South Seas||Lope De Vega||Let It Be Me||Mizzen Mast||9.3f|
|Yucatan||Galileo||Six Perfections||Celtic Swing||9.5f|
|Seven Heavens||Frankel||Heaven Sent||Pivotal||7.9f|
|Best of Days||Azamour||Baisse||High Chaparral||10.6f|
|Atty Persse||Frankel||Dorcas Lane||Norse Dancer||10.1f|
|Dreamfield||Oasis Dream||Izzi Top||Pivotal||7.9f|
|Sir John Lavery||Galileo||Race For The Stars||Fusaichi Pegasus||8.9f|
|Franz Schubert||Dansili||Measured Tempo||Sadlers Wells||8.9f|
|Cliffs of Moher||Galileo||Wave||Dansili||9.4f|
Epsom Derby 2017 Ante-Post Portfolio
|Epsom Derby 2017||Cliffs of Moher@40/1||☑|
|Epsom Derby 2017||John Lavery@33/1||☑|
To cite this article: Niall O'Connor
2017: The worst Epsom Derby ever? Bettingmarket.Com. All Rights Reserved. 2017.