The Derby (Saturday 1 June, 4.30) is the Blue Riband event of England’s Flat racing season and is the highlight of the second day of Epsom’s two-day Investec Derby Festival. The Derby is the third oldest of England’s five classics behind The St Leger and the one-year-older Oaks.
A potentially second lucrative career as a stallion awaits the winner, with the likes of Galileo and Sea The Stars amongst the victors that have had successful stud careers after being successful at Epsom.
Check out our trends, runner-by-runner guide and free tip for the 2019 Derby.
Derby 10-Year- Trends
Up until two years ago, the Derby hadn’t produced many shock winners recently. However, the 2017 Wings Of Eagles won at 40/1, whilst last year’s winner Masar was 16/1.
Irish-trained horses have the best recent record in the race, with six of the last 10 winners hailing from Ireland. Four of those were trained by Aidan O’Brien. Andre Fabre also sent over Pour Moi to win in 2011, which means only three of the last 10 Derby winners have been trained in England.
Winning form coming into the race isn’t everything, as only five of the last 10 Derby winners had won their prep race, but all 10 winners had run between two and eight weeks prior to winning the Epsom Derby.
None of the last 10 winners were drawn lower than stall-four or higher than stall-14. Seven of the last 10 winners were drawn between stalls seven and 12.
Derby Runner-By-Runner Guide 2019
Anthony Van Dyke
Trainer Aidan O’Brien is going for the quantity approach this year as he saddles seven of the 13 runners. This one showed some fair form as a two-year-old and galloped all the way to the line when winning the Lingfield Derby Trial. Seamie Heffernan has yet to win the Derby, but he’s normally on the horse perceived to be the O’Brien third string. Drawn 7.
Trainer Andrew Balding and jockey Silvestre de Sousa have teamed up to great effect on the King Power owned horses recently. Won both his races this season, beating Telecaster in the first of those, but strictly held by Sir Dragonet on collateral form-lines. Drawn 12.
Solid performer as a two-year-old and his two wins this season over 10-furlongs have suggested he’ll relish the step up to 12-furlongs. Donnacha O’Brien rides, which suggests he’s the second O’Brien string. Drawn 8.
Another Aidan O’Brien trained runner that looked sure to relish this longer distance when winning the Dee Stakes at Chester. The form of that race doesn’t look that strong and Ryan Moore has jumped ship to ride Sir Dragonet. Gets Frankie Dettori in the saddle instead, which is a confusing booking. Drawn 5.
Well beaten at 50/1 in the Lingfield Derby Trial and connections look to be simply having a day out.
John Gosden trained colt that was ridden by Frankie Dettori in a strong maiden in debut but has been ridden to his two victories by today’s jockey Rab Havlin. Has the potential for improvement but doubt Dettori would be riding for Aidan O’Brien if he was expected to win. Drawn 9.
Considered by many to be Aidan O’Brien’s leading Derby hope at the beginning of the season. He was a noticeable drifter in the market before the Dante Stakes, after O’Brien had said he would need the run, but he’s expected to get a lot closer to Telecaster this time. But it’s hard to know how much he’s fancied with Wayne Lordan on board. Drawn 11.
Line Of Duty
Breeders Cup winning two-year-old, but he was trounced in the Dante Stakes. That can’t have been his true running, but he has obvious questions to answer, especially from stall-one.
Beat the likes of Broome as a two-year-old and shaped as though he would benefit from a step-up in trip when a staying on fourth in the English 2,000 Guineas. His Irish trainer sends him here instead of taking in last weekend’s Irish 2,000 Guineas and his sire won the 2008 Derby. Drawn 6.
Looked woefully short of a turn of pace when thrashed by Sir Dragonet at Chester last time but stayed on for second having been sent off as favourite under Ryan Moore. Seems well down the pecking order with Jamie Spencer on board, but he’s the kind of jockey that could bring him late if they go off too fast in front. Drawn 10.
There can’t be many Aidan O’Brien horses that have had to be supplemented for The Derby, but this one is now shorter for the biggest race of the flats season than he started for either of his two wins so far. His win at Chester suggested he could be special and, unless he goes bets for Donnacha O’Brien, Ryan Moore will surely go close to winning a third Derby. Drawn wider than ideal in stall-13.
Last of the O’Brien septet and could be a pacemaker after finishing behind Broome last time. However, his jockey did win the 2017 Derby at 40/1. Drawn four.
Beaten by Bangkok on his racecourse debut in March but has quickly made up into a useful colt with a wide-margin maiden win and victory in the Dante Stakes. He travelled really well at a fast pace at York and that could stand him in good stead in The Derby. But not sure his draw in stall-two is ideal.
2019 Derby Verdict
Sir Dragonet is clearly the first choice of Aidan O’Brien’s seven runners and, after the way he won at Chester last time, he could be one of the Irish maestro’s best Derby winners yet. Broome looks second best with Donnacha O’Brien up, but Sir Dragonet’s biggest rival could be the Telecaster who, like the favourite, didn’t race as a two-year-old.
However, as Sir Dragonet is drawn in stall-13 and Telecaster in stall-two, the sporting each-way bet could be Madhmoon, who was fourth in the 2,000 Guineas, just like last year’s winner Masar.
2019 Derby Free Tip: