The 2018 Epsom Derby and all the trends…

Posted by Paul Moon in Blog | Leave a comment

The Derby is steeped in history and is the highlight race of the Flat racing calendar for the best middle distance 3yos. The original winner of The Derby in 1780 won just over a £1,000, however, the winner of the 2018 Derby will collect a serious £850,650, which will probably pale into insignificance if he is to go on and become a top stallion.

Looking at the trends they shout at us and although we already have a view they ask for a colt who has not raced five times before, returned shorter than 7/1, ran within the last five weeks, finished 1st or 2nd last time out and won a Group race before!

The Coolmore Stud are eager to get their hands on this race every year, and Aidan O’Brien has trained four of the last six winners for them. Two of those winners, Camelot and Australia, came via the English 2,000 Guineas, with Camelot winning the race and Australia finishing third to two very useful milers. Therefore, it is easy to make a case for Saxon Warrior who absolutely routed this year’s 2,000 Guineas field. 

Saxon Warrior has the other horses that ran in the 2,000 Guineas covered if he stays, as he beat both Masar (third) and Roaring Lion (fifth) convincingly but our view is Masar will finish closer this time and our advice is a win on Masar with a stake-saver on the hot favourite. We do not think any of the others can win this race. Saxon Warrior is clearly a worthy favourite. Our Pacafi shows 1/2pt win on both...

Regarding our Pacafi we found the comments of trainer Charlie Appleby interesting: "That Guineas form is solid. I still believe it to be the best trial for the Derby this season and, of course, the winner Saxon Warrior is the one we all have to beat. Masar is much more mature mentally these days. The travel to America and Dubai has benefited him. He's grown up a lot. I think he has the right mind to go to Epsom. On pedigree he should stay, and he's now mentally where you'd like a horse who's stepping up in trip to be. He's very relaxed in his work. He's also a well-balanced horse and he learned plenty on those tight bends at Del Mar last November."


2018 EPSOM DERBY 1m4f6y

16/16: Raced no more than 5 times before (100%)
15/16: Returned 7/1 or shorter (94%)
15/16: Ran within the last 5 weeks (94%)
15/16: Finished 1st or 2nd last time out (94%)
14/16: Won a Group race before (88%)
12/16: Favourites that were placed (75%)
11/16: Won from a single-figure stall (69%)
11/16: Won last time out (69%)
11/16: Ran over at least 1m2f before (69%)
10/16: Raced no more than 3 times before (63%)
..8/16: Won a Group One before (50%)
..8/16: Irish-trained winners (50%)
..6/16: Won by the favourite (38%)
..5/16: Trained by Aidan O’Brien (won 6 in all) (31%)
..4/16: Won the Dante Stakes (York) last time out (25%)
..4/16: Ran in the 2,000 Guineas that season (2 winners) (25%)
..3/16: Trained by Sir Michael Stoute (won 5 in all) (19%)
..3/16: Winners from stall 12 or higher (19%)
..1/16: Won over 1m4f before (6%)
..0/16: Run at the course before (0%)

The average winning SP in the last 16 runnings is 6/1
10 Dante winners went onto win the Derby (Golden Horn, 2015 being the most-recent)
Only 1 horse that was beaten in the Dante (Workforce) went onto win the Derby


1st: MASAR 16/1  2nd: SAXON WARRIOR 10/11  3rd: HAZAPOUR 10/1

Timeform View

2000 Guineas hero SAXON WARRIOR promises to be at least as effective over this longer trip and can provide his master trainer with a record equalling seventh Derby success. Roaring Lion has found Saxon Warrior too strong on the two occasions they've met, but he won the Dante at York easily and could still be the one to give him most to do. Young Rascal and The Pentagon complete the shortlist.


2.00 Epsom: Investec Private Banking Handicap Stakes (Class 2) 1m2f18y

15/15: Ran within the last 6 weeks (100%)
13/15: Never run at Epsom before (87%)
13/15:  Won over 1m before (5 over 1m2f) (87%)
11/15: Winners from stall 6 or higher (73%)
11/15: Placed last time out (73%)
10/15: Carried 8st 10lbs or more (67%)
10/15: Returned 11/2 or shorter (67%)
..8/15: Favourites that were placed (53%)
..8/15: Horses placed from stall 1 (53%)
..5/15: Won their previous race (33%)
..3/15: Winners from stall 1 (20%)
..3/15: Winning favourites (1 joint) (20%)
..3/15: Won by trainer Sir Michael Stoute (20%)
..3/15: Won by trainer Sylvester Kirk (20%)

The average winning SP in the last 10 years is 11/1
Stall 2 has just one place to its name in the last 15 runnings


1st: CONNECT 20/1  2nd: BOOK OF DREAMS 16/1  3rd: POET'S PRINCE 9/2

Timeform View

The Doncaster race won by SHIP OF THE FEN hasn't yet worked out, but he was nicely on top that day and already looks a strong stayer over this trip, so he could be the way to go. Poet's Prince is a typical Mark Johnston type in that he's thriving on his racing and looks an uncomplicated sort, with Indomeneo perhaps best of the rest.


2.35 Epsom: Princess Elizabeth Stakes (Group 3) 1m114y

15/15: Returned 9/1 or shorter (100%)
15/15: Won at Listed or Group 3 class before (100%)
13/15: Drawn in stall 4, 5 , 6 or 7 (87%)
13/15: Favourites placed (87%)
12/15: Had won between 4-6 times before (80%)
12/15: Finished in the top three last time out (80%)
12/15: Aged either 4 or 5yo (80%)
12/15: Won over at least a mile before (80%)
12/15: Came from the top 3 in the betting (80%)
10/15: Rraced within the last 4 weeks (67%)
..9/15: Winning distance – 1 length or less (60%)
..9/15: Aged 4yo (60%)
..8/15: Raced at Epsom before (53%)
..8/15: Winning favourites (53%)
..8/15: Won last time out (53%)
..8/15: Drawn in either stall 5 or 6 (53%)
..5/15: Raced at Goodwood last time out (33%)
..4/15: Trained by Saeed Bin Suroor (27%)
..3/15: Won by a Cheveley Park-owned horse (20%)
..2/15: Trained by Sir Michael Stoute (13%)
..2/15: Trained by Mick Channon (13%)
..2/15: Trained by Roger Charlton (13%)

Jockeys Silvester de Sousa (2), James Doyle (3) and Frankie Dettori (2) have won 7 of the last 8 runnings
Godolphin have won 3 of the last 8 runnings
The average winning SP in the last 10 years is 9/2


1st: LINCOLN ROCKS 4/1  2nd: STAGE NAME 9/1  3rd: ANNA NERIUM 9/2

Timeform View

This looks very competitive but the ultra-consistent LINCOLN ROCKS may well get the run of things and seems sure to make another bold bid. Shenanigans is going the right way, while Wilamina looked better than ever when runner-up in a Group 2 at Newmarket on return.


3.10 Epsom: Investec Diomed Stakes (Group 3) 1m114y

15/15: Won over at least a mile before (100%)
13/15: Won a Listed or Group race before (87%)
13/15: Raced within the last 6 weeks (87%)
12/15: Had won at least 4 times before (80%)
12/15: Finished in the top 4 last time out (80%)
12/15: Aged 5yo or older (80%)
12/15: Drawn in stall 6 or lower (80%)
11/15: Raced within the last 5 weeks (73%)
11/15: Raced at Epsom before (73%)
11/15: Returned 8/1 or shorter in the betting (73%)
..8/15: Came from outside the top 3 in the betting (53%)
..4/15: Won last time out (27%)
..3/15: Trained by Andrew Balding (20%)
..3/15: Winning favourites (20%)
..2/15: Ridden by William Buick (13%)

The average winning SP in the last 10 years is 7/1
Sovereign Debt (4/1) won the race 12 months ago
Arod (7/4 fav) won the race in 2015


1st: CENTURY DREAM 10/3  2nd: LOVE DREAMS 11/2  3rd: SOVEREIGN DEBT 7/1

Timeform View

An open renewal, and it could be worth chancing AROD, who won this race in 2015 and finished fourth in the Derby (2014) on his only other start here. Last year's winner Sovereign Debt seems to be building his way back to full fitness and has to be feared, though the progressive Century Dream could pose as big a threat.


3.45 Epsom: Investec Corporate Banking Dash Handicap (Class 2) 5f

16/16: Didn’t win last time out (100%)
14/16: Raced within the last 6 weeks (12 within the last 4 weeks) (88%)
12/16: Came from stall 8 or higher (75%)
12/16: Won by horses aged between 5 and 8yo (inc) (75%)
12/16: Unplaced favourites (75%)
11/16: Carried 9st 1lbs or less in weight (69%)
11/16: Raced at Epsom previously (4 had won) (69%)
10/16: Returned a double-figure price in the betting (63%)
..4/16: Horses from stall 1 that hit the frame (25%)
..1/16: Winning favourites (6%)

The average winning SP in the last 15 renewals is 16/1


1st: TANASOQ 20/1  2nd: BLUE DE VEGA 14/1  3rd: HARRY HURRICANE 18/1  4th: BOOM THE GROOM 8/1

Timeform View

Former stablemates BOOM THE GROOM and Caspian Prince both have bags of experience here and look set to put up another bold showing, but the former looks potentially well handicapped and seems certain to be on the premises if getting a clear run from off the strong pace. Dark Shot, another who has run well in this race, also boasts excellent claims after a pleasing return.


  Today's Pacafi: click here


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