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2020 Epsom Derby Tips – 7/1 chance could bring Classic crown back to Ballydoyle

  • We take a look through the betting for the Epsom Derby
  • This year's race will be run on Saturday 4th July
  • English King is the current favourite
  • 2000 Guineas winner Kameko goes for his second Classic victory
  • We pick out our best best in this fabled Classic
Epsom Derby
A view of the finish in last year's Epsom Derby. (Getty)

We take a look through the betting for the second colt’s Classic of the season and provide readers with two Epsom Derby tips for Saturday 4th July.

The Epsom Derby remains one of the most popular horse races in the world. First staged at Epsom in 1780, the roll of honour for the Derby reads like a who’s who of flat racing, with names like Ormonde, Nijinsky, Shergar and Galileo simply leaping off the page.

The Derby is usually held at the start of June. However, in 2020, both the Derby and the Epsom Oaks have been pushed back to July, meaning runners will have taken in trials during Royal Ascot. This rescheduling also means that entries have been made much later, all-but guaranteeing a capacity field of 20 will line up in this year’s main event.

2020 Epsom Derby Odds


Name
Best Odds
Top Bookie
English King11/4GentingBet
Kameko4/1William Hill
Russian Emperor 7/1Paddy Power
Mogul7/1bet365
Vatican City9/1William Hill
Pyledriver16/1Unibet
Mohican Heights16/1GentingBet
Bar25/1bet365

*Odds correct as of 24/6/20*

2020 Epsom Derby Favourite


English King2020 Epsom Derby FavouriteGET 11/4 HERE
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English King shot to the head of the Derby betting after an impressive victory in the trial at Lingfield – won last year by future Derby winner, Anthony Van Dyck. Ed Walker and owner, Bjorn Nielsen announced on Monday that Frankie Dettori would be taking the ride on the Derby favourite, a decision that strengthened English King’s stranglehold on the market.

While it’s clear this son of former Epsom king, Camelot has bundles of talent, I’m happy to take him on. During that Lingfield Trial, the pacesetters went off far too quick on good-to-firm ground. The leading horses all fell away rapidly in the closing stages, setting it up perfectly for a late-closer like English King, who duly capitalised. 

Another trend Walker’s star has to overcome is the fact that only two winners of the Derby this century had not won some form of Group race. English King hasn’t even run in one, let alone won one. The Derby represents a huge step up in class for the favourite, and I think Frankie Dettori’s mount may be found wanting at the Epsom Derby Festival. Also, his draw in stall one, known as the "coffin stall", is a big disadvantage.

kameko
Kameko (left) beating Military March (second left) in the 2000 guineas. (Getty)

2020 Epsom Derby Form Guide


Despite ticking practically every box for the race, I didn’t back Kameko in the 2000 Guineas. I thought Andrew Balding’s charge would be in need of the run – like his half-brother Roaring Lion did – and I fancied a mile may be a little on the stiff side, having grown and strengthened over the winter. As it turned out, Kameko ran out an impressive winner of that Classic at Newmarket and he could collect his second big victory of the season in the Derby.

At the end of last season, I backed Mogul to win the Derby. While I wasn’t expecting Aidan O’Brien’s charge to be fully wound-up at Ascot, I was slightly underwhelmed with both his display and his pre-race conditions. Mogul looked to be carrying quite a bit of excess weight, and looked a very tired horse in the closing stages as he finished fourth in the King Edward VII Stakes. Mogul’s full brother, Japan improved greatly with his first run last season, but still didn’t improve enough to win the Derby on his second start. 

Russian Emperor thrust himself into the Derby picture with a fine victory at Royal Ascot. Ryan Moore bided his time at the rear of the pack in the Hampton Court Stakes, and struck late to deny the Queen’s runner, First Receiver and secure his first pattern-race title. O’Brien’s charge will be having his fourth outing of the season at Epsom, and I’m sure he’ll have been tried on the replica of Tattenham corner that Aidan O’Brien has built at Ballydoyle. 

Vatican City will make the trip over to Epsom for a crack at the Derby. Aidan O'Brien's colt ran a great race to place second in the Irish 2000 Guineas, especially when you consider he drifted from 7s to 14/1 in the days before the race. This full sibling to the great Gleneagles clearly has plenty of talent, but his breeding doesn't suggest the Derby trip will come naturally.

Pyledriver ran out a shock winner of the King Edward VII Stakes, powering clear of his rivals at the two-pole before running out a convincing two-length victor. I don’t think he’ll be good enough to challenge in the Derby, but it’s a wonderful story and William Muir’s charge should definitely take up his entry.

Along with Muir, David Simcock and Hugo Palmer will be having their first runners in the Epsom Derby, but both Mohican Heights and Emissary will have to step up their games considerably. Khalifa Sat beat Emissary in the Cocked Hat Stakes at Goodwood, but that race is far from the most important trial for the Derby, and he too may struggle in with this calibre of opponent.

russian emperor
Russian Emporer (near) powers to victory in the Hampton Court Stakes. (Getty)

2020 Epsom Derby Tips


Russian Emperor E/W2020 Epsom Derby TipsGET 7/1 HERE
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Masar and Wings Of Eagles – who won carrying odds of 16/1 and 40/1 respectively – proved you cannot rule any horse out in the Derby. However, results like those have been few and far between in recent times, and they remain the only two winners to carry double-figure prices into the winners’ enclosure since the turn of the millennium.

As I mentioned above, I’m perfectly happy taking English King on. Kameko clearly makes a strong case for selection, but his half-brother, Roaring Lion could only finish third at Epsom before dropping back in trip and there’s less stamina on Kameko’s dam’s side. 

I’m going to look to Aidan O’Brien, who’s recent record in the Derby is impeccable, for my selection. While I remain, somewhat, confident Mogul will mount a decent challenge, he has much more improvement to find than I would have expected after that outing at Ascot. RUSSIAN EMPEROR holds the most appeal at the current prices.

Ryan Moore’s waiting tactics didn’t always work out during Royal Ascot, but he always looked confident on Russian Emperor in the Hampton Court and I think he won rather snuggly in the end. This son of Galileo has improved massively with each of his outings this term, and his breeding suggests the step up to 12-furlongs could even bring about further progression. He makes a solid case for each-way selection and will be the last of my Epsom Derby tips.

Epsom Derby FAQs

When is the Derby?

In 2020, the Derby will take place at 4:55pm on Saturday, 4th July.

Who won the Epsom Derby?

In 2019, Anthony Van Dyck won the Epsom Derby.

How long is the Derby?

The Epsom Derby is 1m 4f in length, or 12 furlongs.

Who will Frankie Dettori ride in the Derby?

In 2020, Frankie Dettori will ride favourite English King for trainer, Ed Walker.

Where can I watch the 2020 Epsom Derby?

The Derby will be shown live on ITV Racing and RacingTV. Visit our Live Streaming page to see how you can stream the race via your mobile or tablet.

Verdict

Russian Emperor looked an excellent Derby prospect when winning at Royal Ascot earlier this month, and he’ll be my sole selection at Epsom.

Into 7/1, originally tipped at 12/1.

2020 Epsom Derby Tip: Russian Emporer E/W Each-Way @8.00 at William Hill - 25 Units

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