Epsom Derby Festival: The Preview
It’s Derby Festival Weekend at Epsom Downs, which means two delightful days of racing await us in Surrey. The Oaks is Friday’s standout event, taking place 24 hours before the eagerly anticipated Epsom Derby.
Who do you fancy to win the Classics? Let’s take a look at some of the market front-runners for the 2021 editions.
And we’re off…
Epsom Oaks Betting
Santa Barbara (5/2)
Despite failing to justify join-favouritism in the 1,000 Guineas, the 5/2 favourite for The Oaks still did enough to satisfy Aidan O’Brien, with the Ballydoyle trainer confident his filly will improve on that Newmarket showing.
A maiden winner back in September at the Curragh, O’Brien was bullish in his praise and Ryan Moore will be back in the saddle for what will be only her third outing.
Another in the O’Brien colours, Snowfall was mightily impressive at York, producing a career-best to win the Musidora Stakes last month under the masterful Moore. However, it’ll be Frankie Dettori saddling up this time around.
Whether the same front-running tactics will be employed remains to be seen, but she’ll face competition for an early lead and there are stamina concerns. But Dettori knows a thing or two about winning the Oaks and you can never rule him out.
Teona was one of those unable to peg back Snowfall in the Musidora, but she’s bred for success in the Oaks and this will have undoubtedly been a target for the Roger Varian-trained filly.
After hitting a flat point at York, this talented filly out of Derby-winning Sea of Stars found a bit more, staying on for third. She’s destined for big things… but this could be too much, too soon.
For all The Oaks odds, step this way with Grosvenor Sport.
Epsom Derby Betting
Bolshoi Ballet (11/10)
Aiden O’Brien has decided to send just one horse into battle for the Epsom Derby… but what a horse he is. Choosing to send High Definition to the Irish Derby later this month, Bolshoi Ballet is now the hot favourite to be first past the post on Saturday.
A dual winner at Leopardstown this year, the 3-year-old out of Galileo has all the makings of a Derby winner, and it could be a special double for Moore, O’Brien and the Ballydoyle stable.
A winner in March, a winner in April, a winner in May. Mohaafeth’s hat-trick run at Newmarket was the most impressive performance yet from a 3-year-old with potentially much more to come.
Trainer William Haggas won his first and only Derby 25 years ago with Shaamit, and this Frankel colt has every chance of helping him double that tally. Unlike Mac Swiney, Haggas and jockey Jim Crowley will be hoping for a nice dry build-up to boost the chances of this precocious talent.
Mac Swiney (7/1)
Mac Swiney delivered a scintillating performance in the Irish 2,000 Guineas last month and with High Definition’s withdrawal, is currently the most likely to stop Bolshoi Ballet in his tracks based on the Derby betting odds.
The Jim Bolger-trained horse was beaten by Bolshoi Ballet in the Derrinstown, but his pedigree bodes well for the trip. And he wouldn’t mind a bit of wet weather to help turn the tables. No Irish 2000 Guineas winner has gone onto win the Derby since 1975. Big ask, but a chance…
*Stated odds correct at time of writing