The Road to the Classics: Support and drifts for O'Brien runners in Epsom races

We're just under two weeks away from the Epsom Classics
We're just under two weeks away from the Epsom Classics

The Irish Guineas weekend was notable for the failure of Galileo Gold and Minding to follow up impressive victories at Newmarket, but both races helped to shape the ever evolving markets for the Oaks and Derby...


"However, the news regarding The Gurkha has led to another Aidan O'Brien-trained colt attracting support, namely the Dante runner up Deauville. His price has come into 13.5 from 18.0017/1 over the past few days."

Awtaad was an impressive winner of the Irish 2,000 Guineas from Galileo Gold, but connections of both horses have pointed them towards the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot rather than the Derby.

The Gurkha is favourite for the Ascot race and is now available to back at 40.0039/1 from a low of 4.57/2 for Epsom. This drift reflects the fact that connections have stated he is likely to head for Ascot and bypass the step up in trip at Epsom.

US Army Ranger and Wings Of Desire have settled in price at 5.39/2 and 5.59/2 respectively at the head of the Derby market. However, the news regarding The Gurkha has led to another Aidan O'Brien-trained colt attracting support, namely the Dante runner up Deauville. His price has come into 13.5 from 18.0017/1 over the past few days.

Perhaps the most significant mover in recent exchanges has been the continued support for the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Ulysses. Although only a maiden winner, he has long been held in high regard and top jockey Andrea Atzeni has been confirmed for the ride. He currently trades at 11.0010/1 having been freely available to back at nearly three times the price not long ago.

To further clear up the previously hazy Derby picture, it has been confirmed that Dee Stakes winner Viren's Army will not be supplemented for the race, whilst Linguistic has drifted out to 1000.0 from 35.00 on the exchange after getting beaten in Listed company. He will surely not be supplemented now with his owners Godolphin apparently having more likely candidates in the shape of Moonlight Magic (15.50) and Cloth Of Stars (9.40).


***


The Oaks market has been shaken up by recent events, most notably the unfortunate defection of second favourite So Mi Dar due to injury.

It was a shock to see Minding beaten at a BSP of 1.36 in the Irish 1,000 Guineas - though she wasn't beaten far on ground that wasn't ideal and she banged her head on the stalls. That said she has drifted from 1.608/13 to 2.727/4 as a result.

This has naturally caused the prices of her rivals to contract, most notably her own stable companion Ballydoyle. She missed the Irish 1,000 Guineas with a slight setback, but this hasn't dented punters enthusiasm for her Epsom chances. She is now trading at 5.409/2 in from 8.207/1, while O'Brien's hand is further strengthened by Even Song (12.50) and Somehow (17.50) who have both shortened a few points this week also.

A more significant move has come for Turret Rocks (15.014/1 into 10.5019/2), with punters clearly expecting the Jim Bolger-trained filly to thrive for the step up from a mile to a mile and a half. She was sixth in the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket, but her pedigree suggests she will prove more effective when tackling middle distances.

With virtually all the recognised Epsom trials now run, the markets are starting to form a much clearer picture.


Market Movers

The Oaks
Turret Rocks 15.0014/1 into 10.5019/2
Ballydoyle 8.207/1 into 5.409/2
Minding 1.608/13 out to 2.727/4

The Derby
Ulysees 23.0022/1 into 11.0010/1
Deauville 18.0017/1 into 13.50
The Gurkha 4.507/2 out to 40.0039/1


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