Balldoyle Domination Looks Set To Continue In The 2009 Epsom Derby
The Epsom Derby is one of the best known Horse Races anywhere in the World. It is a Group One race and is one of the three Classics that make up a pattern of exceptional races for Three Year horses and whilst it is open to horses from around the World, it is the best horses from Europe that contest the race.
The race itself is a fascinating spectacle and is always a hugely popular betting event, given its coverage and prestige, together with it being a very competitive betting event, with many top quality horses contesting.
Betting for the 2009 renewal of The Derby was further complicated after the running of the Dante Stakes at York on May 14th. Black Bear Island, ridden by Colm O’Donoghue won the race after coming from last to first in the final 2 furlongs to deny stable companion Freemantle on the line. It was a good win in what was thought to have been a top quality field, but bookmakers did not go over the top with quotes generally for Black Bear Island to win the Derby as he is from the stable of race favourite Fame and Glory.
The Dante was yet another one-two for Aidan O’Brien and his all-conquering Ballydoyle stable and it is little wonder why he has 60% of the top ten runners in the Derby antepost betting market.
At this stage it is not sure how many O’Brien will run in the colts Classic at Epsom on 6th June, but however many it is, it does look like his Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial winner; Fame and Glory will be his spearhead. Fame And Glory looked very impressive when winning that race and the word is that stable lead jockey; Johnny Murtagh has already elected to ride him at Epsom. Fame And Glory is clear favourite for the Derby.
It had been hoped that The Dante Stakes would have produced a non-O’Brien winner, mainly because it would have broadened the antepost market from a two horse to perhaps a three horse race. Those hopes, albeit now seemingly forlorn, rested on the talent of original Derby favourite, Crowded House, but he flopped badly in the race finishing 8th of 10 clearly unable to quicken when needed.
Brian Meehan, trainer of Crowded House put a brave face on proceedings and suggested that he will come on for that run and that he will still be at Epsom.
The 2000 Guineas winner, Sea The Stars, trained in Ireland by John Oxx is the other principle in the antepost market, and he is fancied to complete the colts classic double. He was hugely impressive when winning at Newmarket, delighting his trainer in the process, who said after the race that his horse will get the Derby distance and will improve significantly between races.
Currently eight of the top ten in the Derby market are trained in Ireland, only Crowded House and the Sir Michael Stoute trained, Harbinger offer an alternative but neither can be said to have realistic claims to win the race. The odds very much favour another Irish success and some bookmakers are even daring to suggest a Ballydoyle one-two-three. Could that be really possible in the Epsom Derby?