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Epsom Derby betting tips: Bolshoi Ballet the one to catch

| 04.06.2021

Epsom Derby preview and odds

The Cazoo Derby (4.30) takes centre stage on Saturday and here we analyse the leading contenders in our Epsom Derby betting tips.

As is so often the case, the market is dominated by a potential star from Aidan O’Brien’s yard.

BOLSHOI BALLET is the 11/10 favourite to become the Ballydoyle maestro’s ninth Derby winner, having won Ireland’s two key trials at Leopardstown – the Ballysax Stakes and the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial.

The great Galileo, O’Brien’s first Epsom hero, won both races en route to Derby glory in 2001, as did High Chaparral the following year.

The fact Bolshoi Ballet is the trainer’s only runner in this year’s renewal – the first time that has been the case since 2004 – suggests confidence in the camp is high.

“This has been Bolshoi Ballet’s target all the way,” said O’Brien. “The plan was to do the two trials in Ireland, both at Leopardstown. Both of those went well.

“He came out of Leopardstown well last time, and everything has been smooth since.”

Another leading contender from Ireland is Jim Bolger’s Irish 2,000 Guineas winner MAC SWINEY (15/2) – a son of the veteran trainer’s 2008 Derby winner New Approach.

The three-year-old disappointed behind Bolshoi Ballet in the Derrinstown, but bounced back to get the better of stablemate Poetic Flare in a pulsating finish at the Curragh a fortnight ago.

Bolger said: “You know how well he was a couple of weeks ago, and he came out of that race very well – and he’s been fine since. (The extra distance) is not a concern.”

Three-pronged attack for Appleby

Charlie Appleby saddles a trio of runners in HURRICANE LANE (9/1), ONE RULER (22/1) and ADAYAR (40/1).

Hurricane Lane (pictured below) maintained his unbeaten record with victory in York’s Dante Stakes on his latest appearance, while One Ruler finished sixth in the 2000 Guineas and Adayar was second in the Lingfield Derby Trial.

Appleby said: “One Ruler is a different horse when he comes to the track – he just lights up more.

“James (Doyle) said, although it was quick in the Guineas, he rode like a horse that would appreciate stepping up in trip.

“Hurricane Lane comes here as an unexposed horse. As we saw in the Dante, his best work was in the last couple of hundred yards.

“Everything bodes well to step him up to a mile and a half – it might bring about further improvement.”

Hurricane Lane

JOHN LEEPER would be a popular winner for Ed Dunlop and Frankie Dettori.

A son of the brilliant Frankel and the yard’s 2010 Oaks heroine Snow Fairy, the 15/2 chance is two from two this season and is named after the trainer’s late father John Dunlop.

“It is probably one of the more interesting stories of the race,” said Dunlop.

“Having a horse named after my father is very exciting, and it creates a little bit of pressure for everyone – but at the moment the horse has no idea there is any pressure on him, so hopefully we can enjoy it.

“Of course it is quite emotional as well, and it would be a great day if he could go on and win the Derby.”

The fast-improving MOHAAFETH (13/2) and Lingfield Derby Trial winner THIRD REALM (14/1) are others to consider in a fascinating contest.

View the latest horse racing odds

All odds and markets correct as of date of publication



Andrew McDermott

Andrew is a sports betting content journalist at PA Media. He is a lifelong Huddersfield Town fan but when he isn't reminiscing about their Premier League days he is also a junior cricket coach and enjoys cycling.