One of the biggest horse races in the United Kingdom is only a matter of weeks away, but there is already a heavy favourite with sportsbook regarding the winner of the race. The Epsom Derby is one of the standout occasions of the year in British sport, with three-year-old horses competing over one mile and four furlongs.
The event has been a mainstay on the British calendar since 1780 and is the most lucrative horse race to take place in Britain. The Derby is the middle leg of the Triple Crown on British racing, as it comes after the 2000 Guineas and before the St Leger.
(To know more about Triple Crown races and calendar click here: https://www.twinspires.com/triple-crown )
However, unlike in the US, it is very uncommon for the same horses to try and win all three in this modern era. But, the question that all gamblers will be asking ahead of this year’s instalment is whether anyone will be able to stop English King from a huge success in the biggest flat race of the year?
English King The Standout Contender
There is huge excitement regarding English King, with his initial runs on the track indicating that something special could be coming for the Ed Walker-trained three-year-old.
Bjorn Nielsen owns the English King, and if this horse is anything like Stradivarius, then there could be a very special time ahead. Stradivarius recently caught all the headlines after winning the lucrative Ascot Gold Cup by ten lengths. However, there is more of a question when it comes to the English King.
Certainly, it is a quality horse, but it has only been on the track three times. English King was disappointing on his first start as he was well beaten by Trefoil at Newmarket, but the jockey change to Tom Marquand has had an immediate impact.
Since the jockey change, English King has won both previous starts, with the most recent of those coming in the Betway Derby Trial Stakes at Lingfield in June. On that occasion, English King won by two and three-quarter lengths from Berkshire Rocco. But, this will be a much sterner examination.
Other Leading Contenders In The Derby
English King isn’t the only quality horse in this race, as there will be American hope for Kameko. The Andrew Balding-trained horse has won three of his five starts, with his only defeats coming by a nose and a neck at Sandown and Newmarket respectively. The three-year-old was hugely impressive on his first appearance this season as he held off a stern challenge from Wichita to win the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket. This will be much harder, but there is a sense that there is more to come from this horse.
The leading Godolphin chance will be Military March, who had won two of his previous three starts before coming fourth in the 2000 Guineas in early June. Military March will be among the favourites after winning two at Newmarket last year, but there could be better value further down the market with the impressive Santiago priced at 14/1 with most leading sportsbooks.
A P O’Brien had an incredible week at Royal Ascot where he finished with four winners, with one of the most eye-catching of those being Santiago. The three-year-old owned by Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith and Mrs John Magnier won the Queen’s Vase convincingly from Berkshire Rocco at the royal meeting.
That victory means that Santiago has now won two in a row and could be a lucrative selection judging by the form that was showcased at Ascot last week.