The Derby Festival at the prestigious Epsom Downs Racecourse in Surrey is on the horizon, and the anticipation for the iconic two-day meeting is beginning to really heat up — with the next two British Classics of the season, the Oaks and the Derby, due to take place alongside a celebration for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
The Derby is the premier race of the British flat season, and eager punters will have been keeping a close eye on the Group 1 race’s ante-post market on the horse betting sites UK since the start of the 2022 campaign — analysing how it to and fros in the build up to the race itself on June 4th.
There has already been a couple of spanners thrown into the works ahead of the one-mile, four-furlong contest — with long-time favourite Luxembourg forced to miss out after picking up a muscular injury following his third-place finish in the 2,000 Guineas, while Reach For The Moon, the Queen’s best chance of celebrating her Jubilee with a Derby win, has also been ruled out.
So, as the market continues to shift as horses and trainers finalise their preparations for Britain’s richest flat race, let’s take a look at some of the big movers.
The new favourite in the horse racing tips from Betdaq, Desert Crown’s odds of winning the Derby have been slashed from around 9/1 to a general 2/1 after the Sir Michael Stoute-trained horse won on his reappearance at York earlier this month.
The joint-favourite for the Group 2 Dante Stakes, Desert Crown was pushed along to lead two furlongs out and kept on well in the closing stages to beat his fellow market leader Royal Patronage but little more than three lengths.
He’s two for two under rules now, after winning on his debut at Nottingham in November, and he looks like the one to beat in the Derby at Epsom.
Previously a 10/1 shot, Stone Age was cut into the favourite after his stable Luxembourg was forced to withdraw from the race. He has, of course, since lost that place to Desert Crown, but he’s still hot on the heels of the Stoute-trained horse — drifting between 3/1 and 5/2.
The Aidan O’Brien-trained horse failed to win any of his five races as a two-year-old, but his stock has risen massively this season — winning both races so far , most notably the Group 3 Derby Trial at Leopardstown.
Ryan Moore has shown some fine form this season as well, which could play in Stone Age’s advantage in the Derby.
Walk Of Stars
A horse who has drifted in the Derby’s ante-post market, Walk Of Stars has gone out to around 16/1 after once being as short as 7s.
The Charlie Appleby-trained horse showed promise with a Conditions Stakes victory at Newbury on his seasonal reappearance, but a second-place finish in a Listed Derby Trial at Lingfield has made him less favorable for the race itself.
It’s certainly not good news for Godolphin handler Appleby, who is seeking his third Derby win, but it’s worth noting that Adayar won the race from similar odds for Moulton Stables last year and you can never rule out one of his horses in a contest like this.
O’Brien’s United Nations has shortened to 14/1 from 33/1 after beating Walk Of Stars in that aforementioned Lingfield outing, while Joseph O’Brien’s Buckaroo has had his odds slashed in half (50/1 to 25/1) after winning the Listed Tetrarach Stakes at the Curragh.
*All odds correct at the time of writing.