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Tom’s Selection for the 2022 Epsom Derby

The 2022 Epsom Derby is on the 4th of June. This is the biggest flat race in British racing history and is one of the Classics which everyone wishes to win each year. This year, it looks like Aiden O’Brien could dominate the race as it has all the main fancies for the race. Stone Age is 3/1 for the race, and it seems like Ryan Moore will be choosing him to ride after his extremely impressive victory at Leopardstown last time out in the Derby trial winning by 5.5 lengths. Aiden also has Changingoftheguard who won very easily at Chester last week by 6.5 lengths beating a very well fancied Godolphin horse in New London. Although, Desert Crown is now 2/1 favourite for the race after his impressive victory in the York Dante this week for Sir Michael Stoute, who is looking for a 6th Derby win!

When I study the Derby, I tend to look at the stats and trends more than usually as I think it’s one of those races that the trends are good indicators as to what horses will run well. The race has been around since 1780, hence there is a long history as to what the winners require. Here are some of the key trends I look at for the race, when the horse last ran, need to have won or placed on previous start, want to have a draw in stall 7 or higher and an official rating of 108 or higher going into the race. So, as of now looking at the race, stall draws have not been done, but betting on ante-post market you can hope to get a good draw and get a better price than you would close to the time.

My main selection for the race is, Star Of India. You can currently get around 14/1 for this Aiden O’Brien colt. He won very well in the end at Chester and hit the line very strongly, he races behind the bridle and will be finishing very strongly in the Derby. As long as he doesn’t get too far back in the race, I don’t see why he can’t run a massive race at a very decent each way price. He strikes me as a horse that will continually be underestimated by people as he will never win by far, but the best horses tend to win by little as they save a bit for themselves.

Looking at others in the race, Stone Age has obvious credentials but I think he is too short for a very open race. Plus, Bolshoi Ballet bolted up in the same Leopardstown derby Trial last year and couldn’t go onto win the Derby. Changingoftheguard won very well at Chester in the Vase, but I think he beat a non-stayer in New London who also didn’t handle the track very well. So, I would take him on at the price he is of 8/1. Point Lonsdale has a lot to prove as he was beaten a long way in the 2,000 Guineas. Piz Badile beat Buckaroo last time but he had the run of the race and beat a horse who I think is better over a shorter trip. Desert Crown is a very deserving favourite after his 2 career wins being extremely impressive. He is far too short to get involved with now, but will be a tough horse to beat on the day.

For me, Star Of India ticks a lot of boxes and seems a very solid each way contender for the Classic. It doesn’t worry me that Ryan Moore will be riding Stone Age as Aiden O’Brien’s second and third strings win a lot of the time also. I will be hoping he gets a high draw, but if this is the case, I expect a huge run from him!