One of the world's most famous horse races takes place at Churchill Downs on Sunday (AEDT), as a classy field of colts enters the stalls ahead of the 2021 Kentucky Derby.
A capacity field of 20 runners was confirmed ahead of the race, and the favourite is Brad Cox's runner, Essential Quality.
, Dynamic One
have all taken up their Kentucky Derby entries. Other names of note include Bourbonic
, King Fury
and Midnight Bourbon
2021 Kentucky Derby Best Bet - ROCK YOUR WORLD
Seven of the last ten renewals of the Kentucky Derby have been won by horses priced 8/1 or lower, and in 2019, favourite Maximum Security crossed the line first before being disqualified. Seven of the last eight winners had also won one of the recognised trials for the Derby - another trend that helps us draw closer to finding the most likely winner.
Known Agenda ran out a comfortable winner of the Florida Derby. However, he drew the shortest straw in the draw, and will come out of the "coffin stall", gate one. On that basis alone, he has a very tough task ahead of him.
Essential Quality is clearly the one they all have to beat. Yet, I was much more taken with ROCK YOUR WORLD'S trial performance, and I'm going to place my faith in John Sadler's budding star.
Unraced at two, Rock Your World powered to victory over six furlongs on his racecourse debut, before comfortably winning the Pasadena Stakes on his first start over a mile. Medina Spirit was then backed into odds-on favouritism for the Santa Anita Derby, but he had no answer to Rock Your World, who broke well, travelled comfortably and strode clear late on to win by four lengths.
In 2018, Justify became the first horse in over 130 years to win the Kentucky Derby without running as a juvenile. Like Rock Your World, Justify won three times as Santa Anita, before romping to victory at Churchill Downs.
2021 Kentucky Derby Value Bet - KING FURY
One who I think has been overlooked in the betting is Kenneth McPeek's contender, KING FURY.
King Fury twice finished behind Essential Quality as a juvenile, but did manage to pick up a couple of wins here at Churchill Downs. The best of those performances came in the Listed Overnight Stakes, where Brian Hernandez Jnr produced his mount perfectly in the final furlong to beat Super Stock - who'll run here on Saturday after scoring in the Arkansas Derby.
On his reappearance, King Fury looked a class above his rivals in the Lexington Stakes, moving smoothly into contention rounding the bend before powering home under hands-and-heels.
By the great Curling, King Fury is the first foal out of Taris, who won a Grade Two at three and went on to win the Grade One Humana Distaff around this track in 2016. It's clear McPeek's charge has improved for another winter on his back, and King Fury offers plenty of value.