Horse Racing – Inexperienced colt can excel in The Derby from Epsom


IN-FORM racing expert Graeme Johnston (@GraemeJ_83) picks out his best bet from Saturday's action at Epsom.

2:35 Epsom | Princess Elizabeth Stakes ITV

A Group 3 for fillies over a slightly extended mile, and this looks fiercely competitive. Eight line-up and you couldn't readily discount any of them, but there is one in here I feel could end up better than her rivals.

Lincoln Rocks (4/1 William Hill) is the highest-rated of these, and at the weights, she is a deserved favourite. She's ran two good races this season already, however her very best form is on a faster surface and she is vunerable here.

Shenanigans (4/1 Ladbrokes) is turning in to a very consistent filly and last time out she finished ahead of Lincoln Rocks, so connections will be confident of upholding that here. Ryan Moore takes over here which is a positive booking, and she's sure to be popular in the market.

Anna Nerium (9/2 William Hill) was midfield in the 1000 Guineas last time out and I feel she is a vastly underrated filly.

She's won twice, both at huge odds, and has very little to find to win here. The 1000 Guineas form looks good, she shapes well, will appreciate the extra ground, and looks a good bet to me here.

3:10 Epsom | Diamond Stakes | ITV

The Diomed Stakes is usually a really good race and with two previous winners and plenty of group form, this looks a decent renewal. The ground-turning-soft ground has changed my outlook for this massively and I've edged towards an each-way selection.

Arod (9/2 Bet365) was my selection for this race before the rain arrived. A previous winner, he's spent a long time globetrotting since (largely unsuccessfully,  however his win last time at Windsor showed he retains a lot of ability.

On better ground I'd be confident, but the rain has dampened my enthusiasm.

Century Dream (4/1 Ladbrokes) has won five of his last seven races and is very much a horse on the up. Apart from a poor effort in France, he is very consistent, and with form on a softer surface he is very much on any shortlist.

True Valour (9/1 Paddy Power) was a decent three-year-old and ended the season a listed winner. He strikes me as a horse who will improve with age and on his return he shaped like he needs a step up in trip.

With the extra distance and softer surface likely to play to his strengths, I've backed him each-way to cause a small surprise.

4:30 Epsom | The Derby | ITV

The Derby is one of the highlights of the season and a race I love. This looks typically strong and with the presence of a potential triple crown winner there is added spice to the race.

Saxon Warrior (10/11 Ladbrokes) is the best horse in the race. He was a good winner of the Guineas and it's always been assumed he will appreciate the extra distance here.

However, he didn't shape like a dour stayer at Newmarket, and although his class might see him through, he is opposable in my opinion.

Roaring Lion (11/1 Paddy Power) finished a neck behind Saxon Warrior in the Racing Post Trophy last year and after a couple of flat efforts, returned with a bang when destroying his rivals in the Dante.

However, he is speedy and I have serious stamina doubts over him on this ground and though I think he's high class this isn't likely to be his day.

This is Young Rascal‘s (11/1 Paddy Power) fourth start, and though he is the least experienced member of the field, he has already shown enough to show he is a colt to be reckoned with.

His win at Chester showed he has stamina, but also guts as he met trouble, lost momentum slightly and had to be switched before coming with his winning run.

With the promise of more improvement to come, I've backed him each-way.

Best Bets

2:35 Epsom – Anna Nerium to win (9/2 William Hill)

3:10 Epsom – True Valour each-way (9/1 Paddy Power)

4:30 Epsom – Young Rascal each-way (11/1 Paddy Power)

About Author

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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