We are used to seeing Aidan O’Brien having plenty of runners in the Derby at Epsom. And this year looks to be no different. However, this time around the water is a little murky. He has a number of horses near the top of the market. Usually, he has a couple of big chances, and then three or four outsiders to compliment them. But this year looks like being the opposite way around.
To make things even tougher for punters, the most impressive trial winner is Sir Dragonet. But out of all the runners that Aiden O’Brien has lined up, he is the only one not actually entered in the race. To run him now would cost £85,000. The money isn’t an issue for his wealthy owners. The horse won a good share of that when winning at Chester in his Derby trial. But if you have so many other top contenders, is it worth bothering spending £85,000 to run yet another top candidate in the race?
Elsewhere, away from Sir Dragonet, the other impressive horse to come from the trials was Broome. He won the Derrinstown Derby trial. Winning the 1m2f race, it looked like he needed to go over a bigger distance. He looks a strong stayer and will relish and improve for the extra distance at Epsom. It’s enough for him to throw his hat into the ring in a big way. He put up a completely different kind of performance to Sir Dragonet. Bt these two appear to be the main Derby hopes from the yard based on trial form.
Anthony Van Dyck won the Lingfield Derby trial a day before Broome won and he was another to show up well. He didn’t do it easily, and there is a good chance that his trial win will work out to be the worst trial of the ones we have seen so far. But he did what he needed to do and won the race.
One horse that didn’t win his trial was Japan, who ran in the Dante at York. He was a huge drifter in the market beforehand and was sent off at 8/1. That was despite being as low as 5/2 at the beginning of the week. That implies he needed the run. If there is one Aiden O’Brien runner who could take a big step forward from the trials then it is certainly this one.
As you would expect from a big yard like the Aiden O’Brien yard, he has a number of potential darts to throw in the Derby. The biggest question will be which ones to throw. Now that he has seen them all run in a trial he needs to decide whether it is worth the money to put Sir Dragonet into the race for £85,000!
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