With the last of the major Investec Derby trials run at York on Thursday afternoon, I thought it an opportune moment to look at the ante-post market for next month’s Classic.
Midterm currently heads the betting at 10/3 with Betway and that price is likely to contract further should he be successful in today’s Dante Stakes.
However, that’s the big ‘if’ and this morning may be the time to back two horses at much bigger prices just in case things don’t go to script at York.
First up, I genuinely still cannot believe that Aidan O’Brien’s PORT DOUGLAS is still available for Epsom glory at 20/1 after his performance at Chester last week.
He was beaten a short head by Derby second favourite US Army Ranger under the most tender of rides carrying a 4lb penalty.
I fully understand that the favourite was woefully inexperienced and will improve for the outing, but take him out of the equation and Port Douglas has won the Chester Vase by seven lengths carrying a penalty.
Take that last bit in.
O’Brien this week said he intends to reapply the blinkers that helped him win the Beresford Stakes as a juvenile so there are grounds to expect improvement from him too.
I think 20/1 is a massive price and fancy him to be competitive at Epsom.
Finally, I’m also prepared to add Andre Fabre’s CLOTH OF STARS to the portfolio at 12/1.
He was a seriously impressive winner of the Prix Greffulhe at Saint-Cloud last week and word is that he will be supplemented if handling the track at Breakfast with the Stars on Tuesday week.
The French master handler followed a similar path with Pour Moi five years ago and this fellow will be much shorter than 12/1 on the day.
Cloth Of Stars 12/1 e/w Investec Derby
Port Douglas 20/1 e/w Investec Derby