It's Derby day at Epsom on Saturday so Betfair's stable of ambassadors, including Ryan Moore and Joseph O'Brien, and tipsters give their exclusive thoughts on their rides, runners and best bets...
Ryan Moore: "This won't be easy, as we face some unknown prospects, but of course we go in very hopeful."
Ryan Moore is aboard the strong favourite in Saturday's Epsom Derby and the Betfair Ambassador believes his mount should go close if he runs to his potential.
Ryan says: "Bolshoi Ballet is just a straightforward and very classy colt. And straightforward is what you want around here, while his draw in nine is just fine.
"No-one is expecting an easy race as there are several likely big likely improvers in here, such as the likes of John Leeper, who I have sat on and who definitely has an engine, and Mohaafeth, who has looked very good this season, albeit under very different conditions as to what he will face here. You have to respect the unbeaten Dante winner Hurricane Lane - in fact all three Godolphin horses have claims of sorts - while Gear Up beat my horse last year, albeit in very testing ground.
"This won't be easy, as we face some unknown prospects, but of course we go in very hopeful."
It's a busy Saturday for our Betfair ambassador, who has five runners over at Listowel, one entered at Tramore as well as a potential Derby winner at Epsom.
Joseph says: "Southern Lights is a horse we have always loved. He is a gorgeous, high-quality individual that is a pleasure to look at every morning. We always hoped he would make up into a high-class performer and he has progressed with each of his three starts. We were delighted with his winning seasonal reappearance in a maiden at Leopardstown and he was unlucky not to finish second to Bolshoi Ballet in the Derrinstown Derby Trial last time.
"Had he got a clear run, that would have represented a big step forward in form terms and it encouraged us to let him take his chance in this race.
"It is clearly a big ask of him, but there is only one Derby and, when you think you have one that could potentially be up to competing in it, you have to let them take their chance."
Kevin Blake is looking forward to Derby Day at Epsom and our man has two each-way plays in the races leading up to the feature contest.
Kevin says: "While Duke Of Hazzard has never run at Epsom, the notable liking he has shown for Goodwood suggests that he is well equipped for some of the challenges Epsom present and it wouldn't be a surprise if he proved notably effective around there. He is well drawn and the likely pace setter is drawn beside him, so he could well get a very nice tow into the race. A big effort from him would not surprise."
Tony Calvin thinks Joseph O'Brien's Southern Lights is still a fair bet for Saturday's Epsom Derby and recommends two more to back on one of the biggest days of the Flat racing season.
Tony says: "I do think Bolshoi Ballet will take a fair bit of stopping, so the way to play this now is probably in the without favourite market, but to be honest I really am struggling to fancy much outside of Southern Lights and Mohaafeth, though the rain, though not substantial so far, is bringing the Group 1-winning mudlovers Mac Swiney and Gear Up more into the equation.
"It may be predictable but I suggest Southern Lights at 10/1 each way, three places, in the without the favourite market with the Betfair Sportsbook."
Tony's bet: Back Southern Lights at 10/1 each-way, three places, in the without favourite market with the Betfair Sportsbook
Timeform bring you their comprehensive runner-by-runner guide to the Derby at Epsom on Saturday and pick out their 1-2-3 - essential reading if you're having a bet on the big race.
Timeform say: "Bolshoi Ballet made a successful reappearance in the Ballysax Stakes at Leopardstown in April and then improved again to follow up in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at the same course last time. That was a deeply impressive performance, quickening clear entering the final three furlongs to win by six lengths from Lough Derg. Looks sure to go on improving, especially now stepping up to a mile and a half, and rates very much the one to beat."
Timeform's Derby bet: Back Bolshoi Ballet @ 2.447/5
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