Ante-Post Value – The Investec Derby
Having covered the Oaks last week, landing on Tarfasha as the one I want to keep on side, it’s now time to find out who is the best of the boys by having a dart at Saturday’s Investec Derby.
It’s bound to be an enjoyable spectacle as ever but, in stark contrast to the Guineas earlier this season, it looks to be a poor affair and my overriding feeling is that it’ll be proven to be a “meh” edition in the longer term. However, there’s a winner to be found and I’ll give it a shot!
Australia currently takes up the majority of the book, although has been eased to odds-against with most firms in recent days, and is the obvious starting point. He ran a storming race to finish third in the Guineas behind Night Of Thunder, only going down by three-parts of a length despite racing in the “wrong” group and not being pulled into proceedings for long enough by them.
Even though he was well-backed and subject to crazy hype from his trainer, it was a fantastic effort from one who is bred to be ideally suited by middle-distances and you can’t crab him for coming up slightly short in the mile event. If anything, it was a run not far off justifying the hype.
Now, the son of Galileo (out of Oaks winner Ouija Board), will get to prove his true worth over what should be an even more favourable trip. There’ll be no Night Of Thunder, nor Kingman, lining up in this either and on what all of these have shown on the track to date, it’s little surprise to see him dominating half of the book. However, the ground could be an issue if the rain stays around and given said short price, I would have to be in the opposing camp. Shorties can be value, no doubt, but I don’t think this one is.
Stablemate Geoffrey Chaucer is the only other rival available at single-figures (best-priced 8/1) and has been the subject of some solid market support in the last couple of weeks. He’s got plenty to prove from a pure form point of view, but is beautifully bred being by Montjeu out of a full sister to Street Cry, plus his half-brother Shamardal wasn’t half-bad either. This trip should be within his range but he looks much the second best of the Coolmore contenders and it’s safe to say that I’ve missed the boat with regard to his price.
There are others with claims, notably Kingston Hill if he improves for the step up in trip as is likely, and True Story if he puts his Dante disappointment behind him, but I’m going to put my few quid on Arod (16/1) to give Peter Chapple-Hyam a third win in the race. The €170k purchase doesn’t have as much proper racing experience as would be ideal but he finished ahead of True Story in the Dante and was less than three-parts of a length behind easy French Derby winner The Grey Gatsby on that occasion, so it seems a surprisingly solid piece of form. If there isn’t more to come from Arod, I would be surprised and although achieving his second win in an event like this will be hard, he makes each-way appeal.
Selection for the Investec Derby (4:00 Epsom; Saturday, 7th June):
Arod – 16/1 each-way, available generally.
Post by James Boyle.
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