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2021 Epsom Derby Tips - Value predicted for Epsom's famous Classic

  • We've published our guide to the 2021 Epsom Derby
  • This famous Classic takes place at Epsom on Saturday, June 5
  • Bolshoi Ballet heads High Definition and Mohaafeth in the betting
  • Third Realm and Gear Up are our Epsom Derby tips
third realm
Third Realm (centre) will go onto the Derby after winning the trial at Lingfield. (Getty)
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The eyes of racing fans and punters from around the world will be fixed on Epsom on the first Saturday in June, as another winner of the Epsom Derby will be crowned. 

While we're still a few weeks out from this year's renewal, all the major trials have been run, so I've looked through the betting and picked out my best ante-post tips.


2021 Epsom Derby Guide


2021 Epsom Derby Odds


Name
Odds
Bolshoi Ballet$2.10
Mohaafeth $7.50
John Leeper$8.00
Mac Swiney$8.50
Hurricane Lane$9.50
Third Realm $14.00
Southern Lights$21.00
One Ruler$26.00
Youth Spirit$34.00
Gear Up$41.00

Odds courtesy of bookmaker.com.au & correct at 1pm on 04/06/2021.


2021 Epsom Derby Tips - Aidan's Raiders


Topping the betting we find Bolshoi Ballet, who'll bid to hand Aidan O'Brien his seventh Epsom Derby win in the last ten years. Bolshoi Ballet has been super impressive on both his starts so far this season, quickening clear of decent fields to win twice over ten furlongs at Leopardstown.

Despite only finishing third on his reappearance in the Dante, High Definition remains the second-favourite for the Derby behind his stablemate. O'Brien's colt suffered the first defeat of his career at York, staying on from the rear to eventually finish third, and he's sure to improve for that run.

Although the likes of Australia and Camelot have lived up to their short prices in the Derby, O'Brien doesn't always win the Derby with his leading contender. In the last four years, we've seen runners from Ballydoyle win this Claasic when going off at 13/2, 25/1 and even 40/1, so none of Aidan's entrants can ever be ruled out.

Sir Lamorak was rated just 85 when he won a handicap at Leopardstown in April, and it wouldn't be a surprise if he featured in the final field. Lough Derg has followed Bolshoi Ballet home on both his runs this term, and he too will likely be included in the Epsom raiding party.

Sir Lucan got the better of Wordsworth when they met in the Yeats Stakes over 1m5f, and both hold Derby entries. Chester Vase runner-up Sandhurst, Dante fourth Roman Empire, and recent maiden winner The Mediterranean could also fly the flag for Ballydoyle in the Epsom Derby.

aidan o'brien epsom
Aidan O'Brien currently trains the top two names in the Epsom Derby betting. (Getty)

2021 Epsom Derby Tips - The Home Challenge


Despite recognised trials being run at Chester, Lingfield and York, the leading British contender in the betting is Mohaafeth. William Haggas' colt has won three times this season, scoring at Lingfield and a handicap at Newmarket, before destroying his rivals in the Listed Newmarket Stakes.

Hurricane Lane chased down Roman Empire and held off a spirited challenge from Megallan to claim victory in the Dante. Charlie Appleby's charge remains unbeaten after three starts, and this step up in distance is likely to suit.

John Leeper still looked very green and didn't handle the Rowley Mile all that well in the Fairway Stakes, but still had enough class to grind out his second victory of the season. This would be a hugely emotional runner for trainer Ed Dunlop, as the horse is named after his father, John Dunlop, who twice trained the winner of the Epsom Derby.

Third Realm picked up nicely to beat Adayar and Scope in the Derby Trial at Lingfield. Roger Varian's charge, who only raced once at two, has won both his starts this season, and shaped like a big improver during that victory at Lingfield.

2021 Epsom Derby Tips - Overlooked Outsiders



Last year's Vertem Futurity Stakes winner, Mac Swiney could only finish fourth behind Bolshoi Ballet in the Derby Trial at Leopardstown. The three who finished ahead of Jim Bolger's charge all had race-fitness on their side. Mac Swiney will certainly improve for that outing and Bolger, who's already won the this season, has been training Mac Swiney towards the Derby since the start of the season.

Adayar was comfortably beaten by Third Realm when they met at Lingfield, despite going to post as the 6/5 favourite. However, he looked the type who will relish the challenge of the Derby, and if the ground came up soft his odds are sure to shorten.

Despite winning a key trial for the Derby, Youth Spirit can still be found around the 25/1 mark. Andrew Balding's stable have been in excellent form this season, and the way Youth Spirit won at Epsom suggests he wouldn't look out of place in this sort of company.

El Drama stayed on gamely to win the Dee Stakes at Chester, and he could join stablemate Third Realm in the final Derby field. Maximal was second that day and was only beaten a length by Hurricane Lane when they met at Newbury, so he wouldn't look out of place in the Derby.

One Ruler didn't run badly in the Guineas considering it was his first run of the season. Charlie Appleby did say in the build-up to the Guineas, however, that he didn't think One Ruler was a stayer, so that might explain his lengthy price.

Stay Well looked very green when winning at Windsor on his reappearance, and Hughie Morrison is well known for handing his talented runners ambitions entries. Dhushan, who's already won over this distance, could be another dark horse to watch out for, as could Media Storm, who's trained in France by Andre Fabre.

dante
Gear Up (centre, back, yellow cap) is beaten into fifth behind Hurricane Lane in the Dante. (Getty)

2021 Epsom Derby Tips - Final Verdict



Bolshoi Ballet will be winning Group Ones at some stage this season, but he looks more of a speedy sort to me and I'm not sure this test of stamina is something he will relish. With that in mind, 7/4 seems very short.

High Definition, on the other hand, looks perfectly suited to the rigours of the Derby. Yet, I'm not convinced just one run will be enough to bring this big, raw colt to the peak of his fitness, and I fancy he could still be in need of a run to put him completely right.

Mohaafeth is beautifully bred, but even he seems too short in the market for a horse who's yet to test himself above Listed level. John Leeper still has a lot of growing up to do and Hurricane Lane, while impressive in the Dante, doesn't appeal much at 6/1.

The first horse I really want to back is THIRD REALM. Roger Varian's charge started slowly in the Lingfield Derby Trial, and was forced wide turning for home. Despite that, David Egan's mount still motored to the head of affairs and Adayar - who was heavily backed and got a smoother passage through the race - never looked like passing Third Realm for a second.

Third Realm is out of a home-bred mare who's produced highly-rated runners like Ajman Princess, Ostilio and Cape Byron. He's also by a former Derby winner in Sea The Stars, so there's no doubting his pedigree. I there's much more to come from Third Realm, and he appeals greatly at 14/1.

I'm also going to back GEAR UP, who's been massively overlooked at 33/1. Mark Johnston's colt made all to win a Group One in France last season, beating current favourite Bolshoi Ballet comfortably in the process.

I'm sure the plan would have been to go forward on his return in the Dante, but Ben Curtis' mount came out of the blocks really slowly and had to be rousted along early just to sit fourth. Gear Up was then the first to commit as the field tried to track down Roman Empire, and understandably faded back to fifth as Hurricane Lane and Megallan came through to fight out the finish.

Gear Up will certainly improve for that outing and if his breeding is to be believed, he'll improve again for this step up to 12 furlongs. Considering he's a proven Grade One winner and he's got a high-profile prep-run under his belt, Gear Up looks a sensible each-way bet in this most historic of races.
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