Bet Enthusiast followers again lost out in terms of ante-post betting as Zand was not declared to run in the Derby on Saturday. The Irish trained horse suffered a minor setback in the spring and wasn’t able to run in a trial and was subsequently ruled out of the Derby. However, we still have a live chance in the Oaks with Moth, the horse that is now second favourite to win that race at Epsom on Friday.
The Derby betting market revolves around Dawn Approach, the unbeaten horse that will now be running in the colours of Godolphin. The ‘Boys in Blue’ have never won the Derby and a first premier Classic would go some way to compensating the organisation for the fallout that followed the use of steroids at one of their stables in Newmarket.
The Dubai based outfit need some good news following the banning of Mahmood Al Zarooni for administering a banned drug and their association with Frankie Dettori. Britain’s favourite jockey had no sooner lost his job with Godolphin than he was banned by the French racing authorities for taking cocaine. At the time of writing Dettori had still not been cleared to ride in the Derby.
When the Italian jockey took the ride on Camelot in the Arc de Triomphe his days with Godolphin were numbered. He knew very well by riding for the Irish owners Coolmore he was virtually quitting his job with Godolphin. He eventually decided to go freelance but was then hit by a 6 month ban for a drugs offence that he immediately regretted.
Dawn Approach is unbeaten in seven starts for Jim Bolger. He retains a share in the horse but it will be running in the Godolphin colours in the Derby. The horse won the first Irish two year old race last season and ended his juvenile career by winning a key 2 year old race at Newmarket in the autumn.
The 2000 Guineas is considered to be one of the best trials for the Derby. Dawn Approach won that race by 5 lengths and didn’t seem to be stopping at the end of the mile trip. Toronado was one horse with Derby prospects whose reputation was dented and connections decided he was unlikely to make up the ground in the Derby and he will not run.
The key question with regards Dawn Approach and the Derby is whether the horse will stay the 1 mile 4 furlongs distance of the race. There is conflicting evidence in the horse’s pedigree but some judges believe class will prevail even if the horse is not ideally suited to the distance.
Ruler of the World is the only horse in the race to won over the Derby trip but jockey appointments suggest this is not the best of Aiden O’Brien’s entries. One of the most significant trials in recent years has been the Dante run at York. Libertarian was a shock winner of that race and looks a viable each way alternative to the favourite.
Back next Friday.