The Aidan O’Brien-trained Churchill tops the betting with the bookmakers to win the 2017 Epsom Derby, following an impressive campaign that saw him win two Group One races in his debut season on the racetrack.
Churchill will make his reappearance this year in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket over the trip of 1600m. If successful on his opening start, he will remain on course for the Triple Crown going into the Derby, where he will be stepping up in trip to 2400m for the first time in his career.
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The colt, whose sire is Galileo, can be backed at odds of +600 for the Derby, where he has topped the betting ever since his impressive performance in the Dewhurst Stakes last October. He picked up nicely under the hands of Ryan Moore to get the better of his two-year-old rivals.
If successful this year at Epsom, O’Brien will be just one Derby winner away from the all-time record currently tied by Robert Robson, John Porter and Fred Darling, who have all had seven winners in the race.
British trainer John Gosden won the Derby in 2015 with Golden Horn and the same connections are looking to combine again this year with Cracksman. The three-year-old won the Derby Trial at Epsom last month when Frankie Dettori rode him to success by just a head as they battled out with Permian on the Downs.
Cracksman has only had the two career runs. He did not make his debut until October, where he won on his opening start at Newmarket. If successful, he will provide his sire Frankel with his first win in a Classic. Gosden’s colt is +1300 in the latest betting for the Derby, where he has only Churchill ahead of him.
Another horse who had already won one of the Classic Trials this season is Eminent, who proved too quick for his rivals over 1m at Newmarket in the Group Three Craven Stakes last month. Champion Jockey Jim Crowley is set to ride the horse in the 2000 Guineas at the same course, while a month later the pair will combine at Epsom.
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Eminent is also one of the three-year-olds this year whose sire is Frankel. He is unbeaten in two starts and is bred to appreciate a step up in trip. Martyn Meade’s runner is available at +1300 to come out on top in the Derby and give his trainer his first success in the race.
The leading three-year-old from France set to enter the most prestigious Classic in the UK is Waldgeist, who is trained by Andre Fabre. The French horse won the Group One Criterium de Saint-Cloud last October. He has never raced in the UK before; however, the bookmakers make him +1500 to give Fabre his first winner in the Derby since Pour Moi in 2011.
This year’s Derby at Epsom takes place on June 3 where there are currently 139 horses still left in the race. That number will break up the closer we get to the meeting, therefore if you fancy a horse to come on top, back it now to pick up the best value in the betting.