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EPSOM PREVIEW | The Derby

12 runners have been declared for the fourth Classic of the Flat season at Epsom

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Epsom Downs and racecourse grandstand,Surrey
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Following on from the fillies in the Oaks on Friday afternoon, the colts headline the action on Saturday at Epsom in the Derby.

12 runners make up the field for the 1m4f Classic, with Aidan O’Brien’s sole runner holding favouritism in the contest.

BOLSHOI BALLET (5/4) launched to the top of the betting last month, after two comfortable victories in Group company this season.

The three-year-old went clear in the closing stages of the Ballysax Stakes at Leopardstown in April, claiming a two and a quarter length victory from Jim Bolger’s Flying Visit.

WATCH: BOLSHOI BALLET WINS THE DERRINSTOWN DERBY TRIAL AT LEOPARDSTOWN [CREDIT: RACING TV]

The son of Galileo followed up with a thundering performance in the Derrinstown Derby Trial a month later, clearing away from his rivals with ease to land a six-length victory.

Bolshoi Ballet has established himself as the one to beat in this contest and his trainer clearly has confidence in him when he is the sole representative for the dominant yard.

MOHAAFETH (13/2) has made rapid progress this season under William Haggas and he could continue his strong run of form into Grouped company.

The son of Frankel burst onto the Derby scene after a dominating performance in the Listed Newmarket Stakes, making easy work of a useful rival to win by five lengths.

William Haggas
William Haggas will be hoping for Classic success at Epsom with Mohaafeth

His pedigree suggests he will stay the distances and the colt could well mark some value in this contest.

MAC SWINEY (7/1) was a game winner of the Irish 2000 Guineas two weeks ago and he is stepped up to 12 furlongs for the first time here.

WATCH: MAC SWINEY WINS THE IRISH 2000 GUINEAS [CREDIT: RACING TV]

He does have six and three-quarter lengths to find on Bolshoi Ballet after finishing fourth in the Derrinstown, but he showed clear improvement when winning at the Curragh last month.

JOHN LEEPER (7/1) will need to show further improvement after his Listed Fairway Stakes success three weeks ago for Ed Dunlop while Charlie Appleby’s HURRICANE LANE (9/1) enters calculations after a promising victory in the Dante Stakes at York.

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The latter is joined by stablemates ONE RULER (28/1), who will be hoping to rediscover his two-year-old form and Classic Trial runner-up ADAYAR (40/1).

THIRD REALM (14/1) hints at each-way value after landing the Derby Trial Stakes at Lingfield last month for Roger Varian and Joseph O’Brien’s SOUTHERN LIGHTS (20/1) will need to majorly step up if he is to be competitive here.

Andrew Balding’s YOUTH SPIRIT (40/1), Mark Johnston’s GEAR UP (66/1) and Richard Hannon’s MOJO STAR (100/1) complete the line-up for the Classic contest at Epsom.

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