Channel 4 Racing Tips: Galileo a big price to Rock his rivals

Galileo Rock looks a big price in Saturday's Derby at Epsom

It's Derby Day at Epsom, and with plenty of races on Channel Four for armchair viewers to enjoy, Tony Calvin attempts to point us in the direction of a winner or two...

"If Dawn Approach doesn't come up to scratch, then this race is up for grabs. Big style. And I just have a feeling that Galileo Rock could be the one to benefit."


Galileo Rock could excel in the hardest of places and spring a surprise in the Derby at Epsom on Saturday. And at odds of 48.047/1+ in the Betfair win market, and around the 8.415/2 in the place, he warrants a punting interest to do just that in the Classic at 16:00.

But, such is the possible dominance of Dawn Approach on proceedings, I also want to get involved on him in the betting without the favourite market - either each way with the Betfair Sportsbook at around the 20-1 mark, or on the exchange at a bigger win-only price when the market becomes liquid on Saturday.

At his current price around the 2.47/5 mark on Betfair, I actually don't think Dawn Approach is that bad a price, given his form superiority over a field that lacks a stand-out rival to him. The opposition are all about Group 1 potential at this stage.

But, let's face it, if this was an everyday race, it would be quite easy to pass on the invitation to back a horse at 2.47/5 with four furlongs worth of stamina to prove, with a batch of a blue-blooded and unexposed sorts from top yards in opposition.

If Dawn Approach doesn't come up to scratch, then this race is up for grabs. Big style. And I just have a feeling that Galileo Rock could be the one to benefit.

Given that he was so impressive when winning on his debut, it was a bit disappointing to see him beaten in Group 3 company on his next two starts. And the bare form of his third to Sugar Boy and Eye On The Storm in the Sandown Classic Trial last time - even if a certain Libertarian was eight lengths back in fourth - leaves him with a mountain to climb form-wise against the favourite, especially as the jockeys reported that it didn't ride like a good race at Sandown. And I think the runner-up is some way down the Ballydoyle pecking order.

But you only have to watch a replay of that Sandown race to see that Galileo Rock promises to improve a fair amount when given a greater test of stamina. Which is no surprise on breeding, as he is a Galileo half-brother to Saddler's Rock, a high class stayer on his day.

I don't think the O'Brien camp are going to make the mistake that they made in Sea The Stars' Derby, when their sextet collectively set too slow a pace, and the likely end-to-end gallop here is another potential plus. Galileo Rock could prove too slow and confirm himself as more of a St Leger type - if indeed he is up to Group 1 level - but at the price he is worth chancing.

There were some very glum faces when Hillstar was beaten at Newbury a fortnight ago, as the vibes were that the Stoute stable thought they had a Group horse on their hands.

If they were right, and they still could be, then the horse that beat him 1/2 length there, High Troja, must have an excellent chance off just a 4lb higher mark in the 13:35.

The fact that trainer Ed Dunlop nearly pulled High Troja out at Newbury because of the fast ground makes that win all the meritorious, and the expected good ground should be perfect for this highly-progressive colt.

He looks worth a bet at odds of around 6.05/1 or bigger. He will be one of the market leaders though, so if you are looking for something at a bigger price let me introduce you to Fair Trade at odds of 19.018/1 in the 15:15.

She is fairly drawn in 13, ran a great comeback race when third to Duke Of Firenze at Goodwood, and is a well-handicapped sprinter who loves it here.

She won here in July and followed up with a second to Long Awaited off this mark in August, and the winner upheld the form when running excellent races in defeat at Haydock afterwards. She has a better chance of giving local trainer Simon Dow a winner than odds of 18 imply, especially if the ground continues to dry.


Recommended Bets

Back Galileo Rock at 48.047/1 or better - Epsom 16:00(also consider Galileo Rock To Place at 8.415/2 or better)
Back High Troja @ 6.05/1 or better - Epsom 13:35
Back Fair Trade @ 19.018/1 or better - Epsom 15:15


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