Can Aidan O’Brien win a ninth Epsom Derby
Can the domination by Aidan O’Brien and Charlie Appleby of the Epsom Derby be broken? The UK betting market offers for this year’s race on Saturday June 4 seems to indicate that isn’t going to be the case.
The past five years has seen the Epsom Derby won by an Aidan O’Brien trained runner three times. The other two were both won by an entrant from the Charlie Appelby stables, including the winner of the 2021 race.
Six of the seven runners at the top of the current Epsom Derby betting market are trained by either O’Brien or Appelby. The other is trained by Donnacha Aidan O’Brien, who is Aidan’s son.
The current clear favourite at 2/1 is Luxembourg from the Aidan O’Brien yard. O’Brien has already won the Epsom Derby a record eight times. This contender won three times as a two-year-old, including the Group 1 Futurity Trophy Stakes. His unbeaten run ended in the first classic of the season, the 2000 Guineas.
Luxembourg finished third in that race but did have some excuses for the loss. He dwelt at the start and clipped the heels of the horse in front after just 50 yards. The general view is that the runner did well to finish third and just over two lengths behind winner Coroebus. It may be that Coroebus runs in the Irish 2000 Guineas this month rather than going to Epsom.
Luxembourg’s sire is Camelot who won this race in 2012, so there should be no worries about the favourite seeing out the mile-and-half distance.
Changingtheguard is 10/1 and another O’Brien runner. None of his three races as a two-year-old were won. He finally got off the mark last month winning an all-weather race at Dundalk. A big step up in class took place at Chester on May 4 but Changingtheguard met the challenge. He made all to win the Group 3 race held over half a furlong more than the Epsom Derby distance. This is a tougher race but keep this runner in mind for the St Leger later in the year.
If Changingtheguard attempts to make all, that might not be an easy task to achieve. Walk of Stars is 10/1 and the Appelby runner also wants to get to the lead right away. This is a big step up though with his most recent win only being in Class 3.
Native Trail is 11/1 and that’s not bad odds for a horse that has won five out of his six races including two Group 1 successes. His only loss was in the 2000 Guineas, and it may be the draw he had played a major role in that defeat. This is another runner trained by Charlie Appelby and is a good each-way bet.
Piz Badile is 10/1 and is the runner trained by Donnnacha Aiden O’Brien. What an achievement it’d be to win this race and beat those rivals trained by his father. Piz Badile has won two of his three races and that includes a Group 3 at Leopardstown.
Another out to beat the Aidan O’Brien and Charlie Appelby domination is Antarah who is 16/1. An inexperienced runner with just one race so far. A win in the Dante Stakes on May 12 may show Appelby and O’Brien they have another rival to deal with at Epsom.