Here’s five handy helpers to find the Derby winner.
Contrary to popular belief, as some punters think a low draw is more beneficial than a high one in the Derby, four of the last 10 winners have broken from a double-figure draw, and on average, the winning stall number works out at 8.7. The average field size over the last 10 years is 13.2, so the figures suggest a middle to high draw is where you want to be.
There are many different Derby trials that are run over different distances, ranging from 1¼m to 1½m, but a lot of people and pundits believe that the 2000 Guineas – which is run over a mile – is the best trial of them all. They aren’t wrong, either, with four of the last 10 Derby winners all contesting that race before going on to win Flat racing’s Blue Riband on their next start. Aidan O’Brien’s Camelot in 2012, he won the 2000 Guineas. The only qualifier this year is Irish challenger Madhmoon, who finished fourth on the Rowley Mile.
He caught the eye as one of the best on looks beforehand and, though his pedigree isn’t laden with stamina, he’s out of a mare who stayed 1¼m and his grand sire is New Approach, so there is some hope he will stay this significantly longer trip.
There has been one dominant force in the Derby over the last 10 years, with Aidan O’Brien adding to his two victories earlier this century – Galileo and High Chaparral – with a further four wins since 2012. His stranglehold on the race has become the norm, often sending a battalion of runners to post and each and every one is there on merit. Wings of Eagles winning at odds of 40/1 in 2017 being a prime example. O’Brien is long odds-on to record a record-equalling seventh win in the race and throws plenty of darts at it.
When it comes to jockeys there are only two that have won the Derby more than once in the last 10 years, and one of them, Joseph O’Brien (son of trainer Aidan) is now retired. Both he and Ryan Moore have won the race twice, but it is only Ryan Moore who will have the chance to enhance that record. He is likely to have the pick (or at least be steered towards which one will win) of the Ballydoyle contingent. One jockey looking for his first Derby success is Oisin Murphy, who is riding better than ever – his 21 per cent strike-rate this year, more improvement on a progressive career to date. He has a leading chance now that the Dante winner Telecaster has been supplemented for the race by connections.
Pedigree plays a big part when selecting your Derby horse, with certain sires having better records than others with their runners in the race. Step forward Galileo, who is considered by many in the industry as ‘The Daddy’ when it comes to producing top-class animals, siring two Derby winners in the last six years, namely Ruler of The World (2013) and Australia (2014), as well as New Approach back in 2008. The sire of seven of the entries for this year’s renewal (at the five-day stage), it is highly likely that Galileo will have a big impact on the outcome of the 2019 Derby, too.
Derby ace Ryan Moore rides Sir Dragonet, while stall eight looks a good berth for Broome who has plenty of form in the book after winning two trial races (the Ballysax and Derrinstown Stud) at Leopardstown. Though he’s not’s trained by the all-conquering Aidan O’Brien team, TELECASTER looks the one to be on. His low draw might be a slight worry, if he wasn’t a fast-starting prominent racer, but he is, so it looks ideal. Though not by Galileo, he’s by New Approach who is, and the family’s bragging rights can be extended here.