Horse Racing Tips

2024 Epsom Derby: Find out who our expert writers are backing

Epsom Derby
Find out who our racing experts are selecting for the 2024 Epsom Derby

The Epsom Derby is one of the highlights of the calendar so we've asked some Betting.Betfair regulars, including Alan Dudman, Rhys Williams and Mark Milligan, who they fancy...

  • Our writers' bets for the 2024 Epsom Derby

  • Los Angeles a popular pick

  • Brendan Duke is staying loyal to City Of Tory

  • Alan Dudman goes the extra mile for an each-way tip

Ryan Moore Superboost

If you fancy City Of Troy to bounce back from his 2,000 Guineas disappointment and run well in today's Epsom Derby for Ryan Moore, then you can back the champion 2yo to finish in the top five at the super-boosted price of 1/12.00 (from 2/51.40).

Alan Dudman - Deira Mile E/W @ 20/121.00

Owen Burrows trains a 20/121.00 outsider in the shape of Deira Mile, and on a strict line of form with Ancient Wisdom on their Futurity clash last season in bottomless ground, at five times the price of the Godolphin horse, he warrants second look.

While I would like the claims of Ancient Wisdom granted an absolute slog and testing conditions, the possibility of good ground or quicker prevents me from backing him, where as Deira Mile will have no issue with the ground.

It was genuinely fast and good to firm when he won his Novice at Windsor, and while that piece of form is pretty much worthless in relation to the Epsom test and calibre of rival, he has already proved himself on a variety of surfaces in a short time and ran in a couple of fair races as a juvenile - notably behind Defiance and Caviar Heights at Sandown.

He looked very much a stayer in the Futurity and should get the 1m4f at his first attempt, whether he has the class to win, I doubt, but he is an each-way contender for me as he has experience, should stay and looks physically the type that has improved from two to three.

I wouldn't be surprised if something at a massive price was to place.

James Mackie - Los Angeles @ 7/24.50

In what looks like an extremely open year for an Epsom Derby there will be many different opinions on who can win the great race in 2024.

The question you have to ask yourself is City Of Troy too short off the back of his flop run in the 2000 Guineas, and for me he is.

For that reason, I am taking a chance on the second string for Aidan O'Brien with Los Angeles, who has plenty going for him.

Unbeaten on his three starts showing versatility when it comes to ground conditions, which may be needed looking at the forecast ahead of Saturday, he has won on both good and testing ground.

A winner of a Group 1 on just his second start as a two-year-old in the Criterium de Saint-Cloud over 1m2f, he came back this year looking to have improved again.

Over the same distance at Leopardstown in the Group 3 Derby Trial, the further he went the better he became, and it was a perfect prep run for the Epsom feature, winning comfortably by a length.

He is sure to improve again, should handle the tricky Epsom track and looks a clear stayer who will revel in the extra 2f.

Mike Norman - Ambiente Friendly @ 8.07/1

In what I fear could be a very weak renewal of the Epsom Derby I'm happy to take a chance on a recent trial winner who we know will get the 1m4f trip. So step forward impressive Lingfield Derby Trial winner Ambiente Friendly.

City Of Troy is out on his own in terms of official ratings, but I simply cannot have this 124-rated colt on my mind after his 2,000 Guineas flop, knowing that the furthest he has ever won over is 7f. So that just leaves 4lbs on official ratings between the next four in the betting, and of those four only Los Angeles and my pick have winning form this season.

It was impossible not to be impressed with Ambiente Friendly's Lingfield win, a race in which he pulled very hard in the early part of the race before cruising into contention down the home straight. He won as easily as he liked, eased down at the line, which gave the impression that he will be a much better 3yo than he was a 2yo.

The ground is currently Soft at Epsom, which is a slight concern as he has over five lengths to find on Ancient Wisdom from a race last season on such going, but I have a feeling Ambiente Friendly may have improved past the Godolphin runner, and with a kind weather forecast leading up to the race we could be racing on at least Good to Soft by race time, and that is very much in the favour of my selection.

Mark Milligan - Los Angeles @ 7/24.50

With doubts over favourite City Of Troy following his blowout in the 2000 Guineas, I'm looking to his stablemate Los Angeles to come out on top in the Derby.

The winner of a Tipperary maiden on debut in September, he was immediately stepped up into Group 1 company and took that in his stride when coming home strongly to win the Criterium de Saint-Cloud from Islandsinthestream.

Los Angeles retained his unbeaten record when reappearing in the Derrinstown Derby Trial at Leopardstown in April, proving workmanlike rather than impressive, whilst shaping as if the extra two furlongs at Epsom would right in his wheelhouse.

Versatile as regards ground conditions, he's a much more solid proposition than City Of Troy and looks sure to play a leading hand with improvement likely as steps up to 1m 4f for the first time.

Rhys Williams - Ambiente Friendly @ 8.07/1

Plenty in the field have made the running or raced very prominently in the past and that could lead to the Derby being strongly run. That could set the race up ideally for Ambiente Friendly who was an impressive winner of the Derby Trial at Lingfield.

The hood was taken off for the first time that day and he took a big step forward for that, drawing clear of his rivals in the final two furlongs. The likely strong pace should help him settle and hopefully he can get a clear passage through to make a potent late challenge.

Andy Robson Tips - Los Angeles @ 7/24.50

Los Angeles produced a very impressive performance at Leopardstown last time out on his seasonal return, in which he showed no signs of slowing down after claiming victory over the 1m2f trip. He was arguably value for much more than the one-length winning margin suggests given his dominance and he could certainly have more to give over 1m4f.

He is now unbeaten in three starts, which includes a Group 1 victory in France and his breeding is another plus ahead of Saturday's big race. His sire Camelot was a superb flat racer, claiming victory in the Derby, Irish Derby, before being narrowly denied a Triple Crown when finishing runner-up in the St Leger.

Any further rainfall before Saturday shouldn't be of any concern to Los Angeles, and could potentially prove beneficial considering his victories on very soft ground.

Tipman - Macduff @ 12/113.00

A very open looking derby this year thanks to City Of Troy bombing out last time. He could bounce right back and prove too good but for me he's worth taking on at the prices.

Macduff is a Sea The Stars colt who looks a real improver stepping up in trip and he should be well suited to Epsom's downhill finish. He's done nothing wrong so far and contested some decent races, Rossa Ryan is booked for the ride who is one of the most improved and in-demand jockeys.

Macduff has some very strong entries as you'd expect and it would be no surprise to see him run a huge race for connections who were very unlucky here two years ago with Westover.

Brendan Duke - City Of Tory @ 3/14.00

"Trust not the horse, O Trojans" wrote Virgil. Game of opinions I say and this is my Derby tip not his. I'm telling you to trust the horse. City Of Troy was the dominant two-year-old of his generation. He was sent off at a BSP of 1.695/7 in the 2000 Guineas. That price would not suggest there were many concerns about whether he had trained on. I don't buy the story that he wasn't fit enough either. That run was simply too bad to be true. Some things defy explanation.

The chances are that the real COT will show up at Epsom. If he does, then the Derby will turn into a procession.

This horse relaxes in his races. His full brother Bertenelli was effective over 12 furlongs. I'm not all that worried about him seeing out the trip. Mind you, it's no harm to have some stamina concerns about a Derby contender. Otherwise, the chances are that your selection is actually a St Leger prospect.

Stall one isn't ideal but in the horse, and Ryan Moore, we trust. 3/14.00 looks a juicy price to my eyes.

Now read Daryl Carter's Epsom Derby runner-by-runner guide here


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Prices quoted in copy are correct at time of publication but liable to change.