Derby Tips | 6th June 2015 | Channel 4


OUR racing man Graeme Johnston (@GraemeJ_83) gives us his 1-2-3-4 in Saturday’s Epsom Derby.

Epsom Derby | Saturday 16:30 | Channel 4

Carbon Dating (300/1 Coral)

Trainer John Patrick Shanahan
Jockey Ronan Whelan

Generally horses that have only ever beaten a combined total of seven rivals home in four races don’t line up in Classics. Someone should tell John Patrick Shanahan this. Hopefully he has finished before the 5.15 race starts!

Elm Park (8/1 Paddy Power)

Trainer Andrew Balding
Jockey Andrea Atzeni

Last year’s Racing Post Trophy winner, he was third behind Golden Horn and Jack Hobbs in the Dante. Those two rivals had a fitness edge on him that day, and it’s possible that the extra distance can yield improvement too. Providing the ground doesn’t turn too firm I expect Elm Park to be challenging at the business end of this.

Epicurus (18/1 Paddy Power)

Trainer Mme C Head-Maarek
Jockey Thierry Thulliez

A real dark horse, he won the Grade 1 10 furlong Criterium Saint Cloud on heavy ground as a two year old, but was then well beaten in a Group 3 on his return at Longchamp. His stamina is not in doubt, but if he has improved for his seasonal debut he could end up running close to the places.

Giovanni Canaletto (9/1 Paddy Power)

Trainer Aidan O’Brien
Jockey Ryan Moore

He looks like the first choice for the Aidan O’Brien stable, he was an impressive winner of a Leopardstown maiden in October. He missed an intended engagement in the Chester Vase due to a setback and when he finally did return he was slightly disappointing behind Curvy in the Gallinule Stakes. Though he is a horse of potential I get the feeling he would not be racing in this if Ballydoyle’s main Derby hopes hadn’t flopped in their trials.

Golden Horn (7/4 William Hill)

Trainer John Gosden
Jockey Frankie Dettori

The favourite for this after his impressive Dante win convinced owner Anthony Oppenheimer to supplement him for the race at a cost of £75,000. That was only his third career start that day and he readily accounted for Jack Hobbs and Elm Park. His pedigree raises doubts about this trip, but the fact John Gosden has convinced connections to skip the shorter French Derby for a crack at this means the stable are confident he will get the trip. Golden Horn is possibly the most exciting three year old colt in training and we will find out how good he is here.

Hans Holbein (16/1 William Hill)

Trainer Aidan O’Brien
Jockey Seamie Heffernan

Another Ballydoyle inmate who started down the pecking order on the Coolmore conveyor belt, he put up a commanding performance in the Chester Vase beating Storm the Stars. He is another contender that comes with stamina assured (12 furlong win on soft on his cv) but I’d be surprised if he has the tactical speed required to get competitive when the race heats up.

Jack Hobbs (5/1 Paddy Power)

Trainer John Gosden
Jockey William Buick

Jack Hobbs shot in to favouritism for this race after hacking up in a Sandown handicap. He was then sent off favourite for the Dante where he came second to today’s rival Golden Horn. That was still a huge performance for a horse on his third start and he remains of real interest. However he still seemed inexperienced that day and you worry if the hustle and bustle of a 15 runner Derby will bring out the best of him. I hope I’m wrong but I think Jack Hobbs day in the sun may come later in the season.

Kilimanjaro (20/1 Betfred)

Trainer Aidan O’Brien
Jockey Joseph O’Brien

Another trial winner for Aidan O’Brien, this time a surprise winner of the Lingfield Derby Trial. He had previously won a Dundalk maiden and took his form to a new level at Lingfield. He surprised me that day, but the favourite underperformed and the race rather fell in to his lap. I’d expect him to beat more rivals than beat him, but I don’t expect him to be in the places.

Moheet (50/1 Betfair)

Trainer Richard Hannon
Jockey Pat Dobbs

Richard Hannon doesn’t train many Derby contenders but he saddles Moheet here. An impressive maiden winner on debut last season he was sent off favourite for the Craven at Newmarket in April. He disappointed there before finishing midfield in the Guineas. He’s an interesting runner stepping up in trip but I don’t expect it to provoke the necessary improvement to win this.

Rogue Runner (100/1 Bet365)

Trainer A Wohler
Jockey Andrea Atzeni

A rare German runner in the Derby he was firmly put in his place in a Frankfurt Group 3 on his last start. He won’t be taking the famous trophy back to his homeland, it’s just a shame the Germans never sent over their Guineas winner Karpino who looks like a class act.

Storm the Stars (20/1 Bet365)

Trainer William Haggis
Jockey Pat Cosgrove

Storm the Stars has had a busy 2015 so far running four times winning a maiden and beating today’s rival Best of Times. In between those efforts he was well beaten by Hans Holbein and I don’t expect him to be contesting the finish.

Success Days (20/1 Stan James)

Trainer K J Condon
Jockey Shane Foley

I was going to start by saying Success Days is a real dark horse, but after winning the Ballysax and the Derrinstown Derby Trial in Ireland by a combination of almost 15 lengths he’s not really coming here under the radar. However those two races were short on quality, and he is encountering very different conditions than his beloved soft ground. I can’t see him having the pace to dominate these rivals and he may be a horse to wait for winter ground to return before backing at this level.


A very interesting Derby ahead of us as there are question marks about most of these whether it be ground or stamina related meaning the race is fairly open. That said if Golden Horn does stay, and I think he will, then it’s possibly a question of who will come second to this potential superstar.


1. Golden Horn

2. Elm Park

3. Jack Hobbs

4. Moheet

9/1 Golden Horn

Graeme fancies Golden Horn and so do the bookmakers. Fancy backing him at 9/1?

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About Author

Profile photo of graemejohnston

I grew up watching Hearts games with my dad and playing football at every opportunity so betting on it was the logical next step! Football coupons became a Saturday ritual and it introduced me into the world of horse racing. I started watching it on a regular basis, and after Galileo's Derby win in 2001 I was hooked. I follow both flat and national hunt racing attending the northern meetings when possible.

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