The Epsom Derby Festival 2017 – Preview

June is an exciting time in the flat racing calendar, culminating with the Royal Ascot meeting in the middle of the month. This weekend however sees the next installment in the Epsom Derby festival. The two biggest races of the meeting are The Derby tomorrow and The Oaks this afternoon. Here at Severn Sport we enjoy horse racing and promote responsible gambling, whilst helping our audience who are the market favourites  going into big events. So I have brought in some help for the two big races of the weekend to help give you guidance on what to expect.

I am joined by long-time former Severn Sport tipster king Michael “The Fox” Hedley-Ward and new kid on the block Damon “Sweet Prince” Highet to help warm us up for the 3rd edition of the Severn Sport Tipster League at Ascot by discussing their tips for both The Oaks and The Derby.
The races are similar to the Guineas races in that one is for fillies only (3 year old fillies to be exact) and one is open to both fillies and colts (meaning its open to male horses as well as female ones). The Oaks takes place on the Friday of the festival and this year it boasts a plethora of talent. Below is a shot of the market at the time of writing (0830).

The O’Brien/ Moore partnership that has proven time and time again to be reliable in the big races are the market leaders on Rhododendron. Just the wrong side of even money as it stands the fillie doesn’t represent value merely represents confidence and ability. A very good runner and an obvious favourite. Others that catch the are the Frankie Dettori ridden Enable as well as William Buick on Sobetsu. You have to also look at the other two Aiden O’Brien runners in Alluringly and Pocketfullofdreams mainly for the value in their prices but when you consider O’Brien has trained 3 of the last 5 winners in the race he has given himself a great chance once more.

The Fox’s Tip: I like the look of Coronet, wherever you look you are going to get value for this horse. Obviously in a race like this each way is a must.

Sweet Prince’s Tip: I’m going for the William Buick ride Sobetsu. For me she is an unexposed horse for a massive stable and can cause a surprise to ensure the O’Brien/Moore duo don’t retain their title.

Bacon’s Tip: I’m looking at two horses really. I’ve backed Coronet because Andrea Atzeni is my boy and an Atzeni double has to be done. However the more I look at the card the more drawn I am to the Andrew Balding runner Horseplay, plus Oisin Murphy is a jockey for the big occasion this season.

One thing is for sure is everyone will be itching to knock Ryan Moore and Aiden O’Brien off their perch. It is a race for stories and what a story it would be if Frankie Dettori rode a winner, 15 years after his last in this race when he won on Kazzia in 2002. Anyway, The Oaks is the big race on the Friday and The Derby is the big race of both Saturday and the whole festival. Let’s take a look at the odds after the 48 – hour declarations.

The leaders in the market are the Frankel foals Cracksman and Eminent as well as the Moore/O’Brien partnership on Cliffs of Moher. The race boasts value with the likes of Permian, Best Solution, Venice Beach and Dubai Thunder. Obviously the race has that many runners that if you can find the right runner you will get value as the market is oozing with it. A lot of people will pick horses based on the jockey so there a big price to be found out there.

The Fox’s Tip: I am looking at Venice Beach each way. All of the eyes will be on The Cliffs of Moher so I’m looking at one of O’Brien’s other runners and Venice Beach is the best of the rest.

Sweet Prince’s Tip: I am completing the William Buick double by going for Permian. He represents value in the market and is a typical Mark Johnston project.

Bacon’s Tip: As I said for The Oaks I have backed an Andrea Atzeni double so I am looking at Crowned Eagle for a bigger price. Elsewhere the runner that catches my eye the most is Douglas MacArthur. However, I would like to put this on record, do not discount the 100/1 shot of Pealer. If Silvestre de Sousa turns up, he will turn heads!!

That complete’s the look the Derby Festival’s two big races. As we have said throughout both races offer value to the punters as well as offering entertainment and competitive racing to spectators. We will be watching closely at Severn Sport, especially as we are all looking for momentum going into the Royal Ascot edition of the Severn Sport Tipster League.

The league returns on Tuesday 20th June. Find out whether “Square Leg” Charlie Hughes can keep his title of Severn Sport resident tipster or will a new front runner emerge!! We can’t wait!

Ryan Butler
@abaconButtee