Horse Racing Tips

Epsom Derby Tips: Timeform's expert verdict

  • TF Tips
  • 3.00 min read
Horse racing at Epsom
All eyes will be on the Derby at Epsom on Saturday

Timeform bring you their runner-by-runner guide and 1-2-3 verdict for the Derby at Epsom on Saturday...

  • Timeform's runner-by-runner guide to the Derby

  • Los Angeles should relish the step up in trip

  • City of Troy is the form pick but has a question to answer


Epsom Derby
16:30 Epsom, Saturday
Live on ITV

1. Ambiente Friendly (James Fanshawe/ Robert Havlin)

Showed loads of stamina and relished the step up in trip from nine furlongs to just shy of a mile and a half when bolting up by four and a half lengths in the Derby Trial at Lingfield a few weeks ago, taking his form to a new level and entitling him to plenty of repect here. A strong pace there helped him settle better than has been the case in the past, so keeping him relaxed could prove crucial.

2. Ancient Wisdom (Charlie Appleby/ William Buick)

Won an ordinary renewal of the Group 1 Futurity Trophy at Doncaster to cap a fine juvenile campaign that comprised of four wins from five starts, with his best performance coming in the Autumn Stakes at Newmarket where he stormed three and three-quarter lengths clear. He was no match for the progressive Economics when sent off favourite for the Dante Stakes on his return, though should be be sharper with that outing under his belt and is likely to stay a mile and a half.

3. Bellum Justum (Andrew Balding/ Oisin Murphy)

Off the mark at the fourth attempt in a strong Newmarket maiden last autumn (Inisherin was runner-up) and improved on that form when landing the classic trial over a mile and a quarter here in April, proving well suited by the step up in trip and looking well balanced on this tricky track. He's likely to stay a mile and a half so dangerous to dismiss.

4. City of Troy (Aidan O'Brien/ Ryan Moore)

Looked like a top-notch colt in the making when winning all three starts last season, securing his status as champion juvenile with a dominant display in the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes, but he flopped on his return in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket and beat only two rivals home after struggling from a long way out. The form he showed in the Dewhurst is the best on offer - he's 5 lb clear on Timeform's ratings - and stablemate Auguste Rodin won the Derby last year after blowing out in the 2000 Guineas, so it would be little surprise to see him bounce back. However, there is a question to answer.

5. Dallas Star (Adrian Murray/ David Egan)

Took a big step forward on the form he had shown as a juvenile when winning the Ballysax Stakes on his first start for Adrian Murray (previously with Dominic Ffrench Davis), coping well with the testing conditions. However, he will need to take another step forward here.

6. Dancing Gemini (Roger Teal/ Dylan Browne McMonagle)

Was arguably unlucky not to win the French 2000 Guineas when runner-up on his reappearance at Longchamp a few weeks ago as he was forced to delay his run just as the tempo was lifting. He's clearly a smart performer and has returned in good order, though there is a question about his stamina for this much longer trip as, while he has a middle-distance pedigree, he was unable to sustain his effort and faded into fifth in a heavy-ground edition of the Futurity Trophy last season.

7. Deira Mile (Owen Burrows/ Jim Crowley)

Showed useful form without winning as a two-year-old, finishing fourth in the Futurity Trophy on his final start of the campaign. Made the most of a good opportunity in a mile-and-a-quarter novice at Windsor on his return in April, but this asks a much sterner question. He's fitted with cheekpieces for the first time in a bid to bring about an improved effort.

8. Euphoric (Aidan O'Brien/ Declan McDonogh)

Has shown run-by-run improvement and earned his place in this line-up after giving it a good go from the front in the Derby Trial at Leopardstown a few weeks ago, finishing a one-length second to reopposing stablemate Los Angeles. Has work to do to reverse the form, though like the winner he should be suited by this longer trip.

9. God's Window (John & Thady Gosden/ Kieran Shoemark)

Made a promising start last season, winning a maiden on debut and then producing a much better effort in defeat when beaten just under two lengths in third in the Futurity Trophy. He's been comfortably held in Derby trials at Chester and York this season, however.

10. Kamboo (Richard Hughes/ Richard Kingscote)

Built on his debut promise when a three-length winner of a mile novice at Kempton in December and that form has been boosted by the useful runner-up scoring with ease since. However, he's faced with a very tough task on his return to action.

11. Los Angeles (Aidan O'Brien/ Wayne Lordan)

Won both starts as a juvenile, including the Group 1 Criterium de Saint-Cloud, and although he had to work to justify odds-on favouritism on his return in the Derby Trial at Leopardstown he was never more convincing than at the line. He left the impression that stamina is his strong suit and that he'll be suited by the extra couple of furlongs in the Derby.

12. Macduff (Ralph Beckett/ Rossa Ryan)

Was no match for the impressive Arabian Crown on his return in the Classic Trial at Sandown, though in a steadily-run race he wasn't as well placed as the winner nor did he look as tuned up. That was still an improved effort from Macduff to finish best of the rest and he is entitled to progress again over this longer trip.

13. Mr Hampstead (Dominic Ffrench Davis/ Sean Levey)

Showed ability to hit the frame on all three starts for Roger Varian but he is still a maiden and is likely to struggle in this company on his first start for Dominic Ffrench Davis.

14. Sayedaty Sadaty (Andrew Balding/ Tom Marquand)

Has shown himself to be an improved performer this season, finishing runner-up in listed races at Newcastle and Newmarket. Plenty of further improvement is required but there's bags of stamina on the dam's side of his pedigree so this step up in trip could help him progress again.

15. Tabletalk (Tom Clover/ James Doyle)

Supplemented for this after winning a mile-and-a-quarter maiden at Chelmsford a few weeks ago but a huge jolt of improvement will be needed to figure prominently in this company.

16. Voyage (Richard Hannon/ Pat Dobbs)

This is a steep rise in class, though he looked a good prospect when making a winning start at Newbury in April, landing a valuable mile-and-a-quarter novice with plenty in hand.


Timeform's Analyst Verdict:

Aidan O'Brien might hold the key to this race yet again. While LOS ANGELES was no striking winner of the Leopardstown Derby Trial on his fast-ground reappearance he was nicely on top at the line and looks sure to benefit from the step up to 1½m. He won't be inconvenienced should there be any ease in the going having won a Group 1 on soft at 2 and looks a solid alternative to stablemate City of Troy, who looked outstanding at 2 but bombed out in the 2000 Guineas. Macduff is next on the list.

Timeform's 1-2-3:

1. Los Angeles
2. City of Troy
3. Macduff

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