Aidan O’Brien’s Mogul at a current 7/1 is a significant ante-post loser in this Saturday’s Epsom Derby, having first been backed at 50-1 last July for the Blue Riband event before he’d even set a hoof on a racecourse.
He was beaten five and a half lengths on his debut at Gowran Park the following month, but that didn’t deter punters, who came in for the 33-1 that was still available afterwards.
Anyone who backed him at those fancy prices were laughing when he comfortably broke his maiden at The Curragh later in the same month before justifying odds-on favouritism in the Group 2 Champions Juvenile Stakes at Leopardstown in September.
Their enthusiasm may then have waned when he could only muster a fourth behind Kameko in the Vertem Futurity Trophy at Newcastle on the first day of November, but that was his first outing on the all-weather over an inadequate mile.
He was into 10-1 for the Derby towards the end of May and the Galileo colt’s form was boosted when Kameko landed the 2,000 Guineas. His price has since contracted further into 7-1 despite running only fourth behind Pyledriver in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot, where he probably needed the run and he’ll strip fitter at Epsom.
The current Derby favourite English King probably wasn’t on many people’s lists when he went into the winter having just won a maiden on that tapeta surface at Newcastle. However, we saw small money at 40/1 on the morning of his Lingfield Derby Trial win in June and Ed Walker’s charge is now into 9-4. for Saturday’s showpiece.
A large part of his recent contraction in price could be down to connections jocking off the Lingfield winning jockey Tom Marquand, in favour of Italian stallion Frankie Dettori.
There’s an awful lot to like about the ‘jolly’ as he was slowly away at Lingfield, but came home a comfortable winner, proving he stays the 1m 4f Derby trip. The roller-coaster nature of Epsom will be no trouble to him.
Perhaps unsurprisingly the best two backed horses ante post in the Epsom Oaks are the front two in the market and those shrewd punters who supported the current second favourite Frankly Darling at 66/1 in December, before she’d even won a race.
They are now sitting on a very nice voucher indeed.
To be fair the daughter of Frankel had already put in a nice debut performance before that, finding only Cabaletta too powerful in a Yarmouth novice stakes in October, when the heavy ground probably dented her chance.
Her trainer ‘Big’ John Gosden wasted no time in getting her back on the track this term and she sluiced up by five lengths in a maiden again at the north-east riviera venue of Newcastle on the first day of the resumption of racing on June 1.
The Suffolk sorcerer then took her to a fancy address at Ascot where she was sent off favourite despite a massive rise in class in the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes. There the great workouts in Newmarket proved to be no morning glory and she kept on strongly under Dettori to master Ennistymon by a length and three-quarters with those fancy Oaks odds of 66/1 long gone.
She’s now a 9-4 poke.
King ‘Aidan’ O’Brien also has a leading Oaks candidate in 1,000 Guineas heroine Love, who absolutely hacked up in the first English fillies’ Classic by four and a quarter lengths from Cloak Of Spirits. The daughter of Galileo had looked an unlikely Classic contender when only fifth in the Group 2 Debutante Stakes last year, behind the subsequent Coronation Stakes winner Alpine Star.
Paddy Power’s 14-1 ante-post quote last September looked reasonable value after she’d prevailed in the Moyglare Stud Stakes by three-quarters of a length from Daahyeh.
She went into winter hibernation having been fancied by Ballydoyle for Newmarket’s Fillies’ Mile, but the softish ground was probably against her when only third behind Quadrilateral. Love then underlined her authority and certainly wasn’t stopping at the line in the one mile 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket and is now a strong 11/8 favourite for Saturday’s Epsom Oaks.
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