RACE 5 4.30pm
TRAINER Aidan O’Brien saddles three of the 12 runners in this afternoon’s Investec Derby (4.30pm) in an attempt to land the world’s most famous horse race for a record fourth consecutive year.
Giovanni Canaletto, Hans Holbein and Kilimanjaro are the chosen three tasked with following in the hoofprints of Camelot (2012), Ruler Of The World (2013) and Australia (2014) who all brought the prize home to Ballydoyle.
The weight of money in recent days, not to mention the booking of Ryan Moore, means that Giovanni Canaletto would appear to carry the most stable confidence.
The full brother to Ruler Of The World missed his intended reappearance run at Chester and seemed set to bypass Epsom after failing to win on his belated reappearance in the Gallinule Stakes.
However, the U-turn in recent days suggests that he has shown enough at home to captain the Ballydoyle raiding party.
Kilimanjaro won what didn’t look a spectacular Lingfield Derby Trial, while Hans Holbein was nothing but game when holding all-comers in the Chester Vase.
None of the three O’Brien runners have any stamina doubts, there is just a concern over whether they truly have the class.
With plenty of sunshine forecast, the chances of mudlarks Elm Park, Success Days and Epicuris slowly diminish, but one that could run well at a much bigger price is Storm The Stars.
The family get better with every run and he seems to be following the family trait.
John Gosden last won the Derby back in 1997 with Benny The Dip and I remember plenty then saying that the colt would never stay the 12 furlong trip after his Dante win.
There is a genuine sense of déjà vu nearly 20 years on as the breeding gurus are flagging up serious concerns about the chances of Golden Horn seeing out the extra two furlongs.
However, anyone who witnessed his classy York win with their eyes rather than looking through his pedigree, saw a horse that was asserting late on rather than gasping for the line.
He saw off JACK HOBBS and Andrew Balding’s highly-regarded Elm Park pretty comfortably and is unquestionably the one they all have to beat.
My choice to side with his stablemate Jack Hobbs purely comes down to price and the fact that my selection should improve for the step up in trip rather than just cope with it.
Some bookmakers are as short as 11/8 about Dettori winning a second Derby aboard Golden Horn while you can get 6/1 on Jack Hobbs.
Betway are offering 9/2 that the Gosden pair fill the first two places and that would certainly come as no surprise.
Both horses recently tuned up for this afternoon’s big race with a spin around Tattenham Corner at ‘Breakfast with the Stars’ and by all accounts it was Jack Hobbs who appeared the most comfortable.
Gosden has made no secrets about the regard in which he holds the son of Halling, and it was no surprise to see Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin operation recently buy into 50% of the horse.
The master trainer has gone on record saying that Jack Hobbs could easily turn out to be the better of the pair come the autumn, but the value call has to be that the shift in the balance of power could come earlier on Epsom Downs this afternoon.