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EPSOM FOLLOW-UP PREVIEW | The Derby

A new standout favourite has emerged for the 1m4f classic on the Epsom Downs

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Bolshoi Ballet wins the Ballysax Stakes
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With just over a fortnight to go, the field for the Derby is beginning to take shape with several classy sorts planning their trip to the Epsom Downs.

The clash of the colts headlines the second day’s racing, with the Oaks and the Coronation Cup featuring on the opening day’s card.

Aidan O’Brien once again holds the favourite for the Grade 1 contest, but it’s not the three-year-old that many were expecting.

BOLSHOI BALLET (15/8) has made easy work of his rivals in his two outings this season, producing a good effort to win the Grade 3 Ballysax Stakes at Leopardstown in April.

WATCH: BOLSHOI BALLET WINS THE DERRINSTOWN FOR AIDAN O’BRIEN [CREDIT: RACING TV]

The colt destroyed his opponents a month later in the Derrinstown Derby Trial, quickening clear in the final two furlongs to claim victory by six lengths.

The son of Galileo has shown steady improvement this season and has established himself as the one to beat at the Derby this season.

Aidan O'Brien Trainer
Aidan O’Brien holds the top two in the betting for the Derby at Epsom

Stablemate HIGH DEFINITION (4/1) launched to ante-post favouritism when landing the Grade 2 Beresford Stakes back in September.

The Ballydoyle trainer sang his praises of the colt back in January, stating “he’s a big, rangy horse with an unbelievably long stride.”

High Definition ridden by jockey Seamie Heffernan wins The Alan Smurfit Memorial Beresford Stakes (Group 2) during day one of the Autumn Festival at Curragh Racecourse.
High Definition showed an incredible turn of foot in his two starts as a two-year-old

His unbeaten record came to an end in the Dante Stakes, as he left it too late to challenge Charlie Appleby’s HURRICANE LANE (7/1) but he showed a good turn of foot to narrow the advantage in the final stages.

O’Brien holds two more entries in the contest, with French Group 1 winner VAN GOGH (14/1) and progressing sort SIR LAMORAK (20/1) likely to join the leading pair.

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Rapid improver MOHAAFETH (8/1) has been impressive so far this season, winning all three of his starts under William Haggas.

The son of Frankel is bred for the middle distances and he could show further progress when stepped up into Group company.

William Haggas
William Haggas holds an exciting prospect in Mohaafeth for the Derby at Epsom

However, the soft ground currently is a concern and it is unlikely that Haggas’ colt will run in the Derby if the wet weather does not ease up.

JOHN LEEPER (9/1) gives Ed Dunlop his first runner in a Classic for five years, while THIRD REALM (12/1) has made a bright start to the season with two wins in two starts for Roger Varian.

Futurity Trophy Stakes MAC SWINEY (20/1) will be aiming to give Jim Bolger his second Classic success of the season, while Andrew Balding’s YOUTH SPIRIT (20/1) will need to show further progress from his Chester Vase success earlier this month.

Jim Bolger
Jim Bolger landed success in the 2000 Guineas with Poetic Flare

GEAR UP (33/1) could relish the softer conditions if the wet weather continues, while EL DRAMA (33/1) will be looking to make the step up in trip after winning the Listed Dee Stakes at Chester.

An exciting renewal of the Derby lies in wait on the Epsom Downs.

Reece Charlton is a Content Writer at Low6 that specializes in horse racing. He is an avid hunter of value in the racing world, picking out longshots six days a week across the National Hunt and Flat cards on offer across the UK and Ireland. He keeps punters and race fans in the know with his racing expertise with previews and value picks for all the big cards and meetings.

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