The Master of Ballydoyle, Aidan O’Brien, has won the Derby six times, including three years in a row between 2012 and 2014, and once again holds a strong hand in the Epsom Classic, due off at 4.30pm on Saturday, June 1, 2019.
Sir Dragonet, an unbeaten son of Camelot, was promoted to favourite, at around 7/2, after an impressive 8-length win over stable companion Norway in the Group 3 Chester Vase, over an extended mile-and-a-half on the Roodeye, despite racing green in the early stages, and looks an outstanding contender.
However, he is closely attended in the antepost betting by the Australia colt Broome, who is more exposed, both has won both starts this term – the Ballysax Stakes and the Derrinstown Derby Trial, both over a mile-and-a-quarter at Leopardstown – with a minimum of fuss. He was only beaten a neck in the Group One Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at Longchamp last October and, at 4/1 or thereabouts, looks another with a solid chance.
Last, but by no means least, of the fancied O’Brien runners comes Anthony Van Dyck, whose is available at around the 5/1 mark after a straightforward 2¼-length win over Pablo Escobarr in the Lingfield Derby Trial. As a son of Galileo, Anthony Van Dyck warrants respect but, having been found wanting on both starts a Group One level as a juvenile – in the National Stakes at the Curragh and the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket, behind impressive winner Too Darn Hot – Sir Dragonet looks the pick of the trio.
At the time of writing, connections of Telecaster are yet to decide whether of not to supplement the son of New Approach for the Derby for £85,000 – that is, more than the prize money for fourth place – but he wasn’t stopping at the end of the Dante Stakes, over an extended mile-and-a-quarter at York, and looks worth the investment. Indeed, he was going away from Cartier Champion Two-year-old Colt Too Darn Hot in the closing stages on the Knavesmire, so an extra two furlongs looks with his compass and, at 7/1 or thereabouts, could be the proverbial fly-in-the-ointment as far as the O’Brien camp is concerned, if connections do decide to talk the plunge.
No prizes for originality, I’m afraid but, while Sir Dragonet may not quite fall into the ‘now is the time to bet like men’ category, made famous by the late Richard Baerlain, it was hard not to be impressed by his demolition of the opposition in the Chester Vase.
Selection: Epsom 4.30 Sir Dragonet to win