One of the most prestigious races on the British calendar is fast approaching, with the Epsom Derby taking place behind closed doors for the first time this year.
The most talented three-year-old colts and fillies will be in attendance for the prestigious race, with the winner of the 2020 edition of the race being the one that can outlast the others over the one mile and four-furlong course. The Derby is the richest race on the British calendar and is one of the five Classics that are competed during the flat season.
This year’s race promises to be one of the most open in recent years, with gamblers already looking at one standout contender that caught the eye recently at Royal Ascot. Russian Emperor is that horse, but could the A P O’Brien-trained horse be about to claim a huge win in the Derby this year?
Russian Emperor To Continue Dominance?
O’Brien enjoyed an excellent week at Ascot in June, and that could continue with a sixth success in this race in the past ten years for the trainer. He famously had success in this race last year when Anthony Van Dyck won by ½ a length with Seamie Heffernan on board. Ryan Moore will likely ride Russian Emperor in the Derby, and the horse-jockey combination saw immediate success at Royal Ascot. The three-year-old put in one of the performances of the week at the royal meeting to win the Hampton Court Stakes by ½ a length from First Receiver.
Prior to that success, Russian Emperor had won just once in three starts, with that success coming in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden at Naas. This will be another quality field for Russian Emperor to contend with, but if he is able to replicate his performance from Ascot, then the smart money would be backing the O’Brien horse.
Leading Horses In The Field
The heavy favourite in the ante-post markets is English King for trainer Ed Walker. There is certainly a lot of anticipation centring around this horse, as he comes straight to the Derby following success at Lingfield in early June. Connections ultimately decided to bypass the Ascot meeting, which means that English King will come to Epsom after winning his last two. His most recent run in the Betsafe Derby Trial Stakes at Lingfield was an excellent performance, as he was able to hold off the challenge from Berkshire Rocco to claim the win.
Kameko will also be among the favourites for the big race, and the Andrew Balding-trained horse will come to the Derby having won three from five starts. Furthermore, he has won his last two, with his most recent success coming in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket. That success has elevated Kameko to a high rating, and there will be an awful lot of interest to see whether the three-year-old could win two of the Classics this season.
Kameko would join esteemed company in winning two of the Classics, with the last horse to achieve that being Camelot in 2012. Meanwhile, no horse has won all three Classics since Nijinsky in 1970. There will also be each-way value further down in the betting with Highest Ground and Armory both attracting attention.
Highest Ground is trained by Sir Michael Stoute and has won on both its previous starts. The most recent of those came at Haydock at the end of June. Meanwhile, Armory is another O’Brien chance who has been in progressive form over the past 12 months. However, the biggest question regarding this horse will be whether it is able to replicate the form that it showed in the first half of its two-year-old season.
There you have it, our picks for the Epsom Derby. And if you fancy horse racing check out the last news and updates on September’s Kentucky Derby: https://www.twinspires.com/blog/2020-kentucky-derby-news-notes