There was a lot to like about the manner of Bonfire’s victory in the Dante Stakes and impressed punters can take advantage of Ladbrokes offering the top price of 8/1 that he follows up with another success in the Epsom Derby.
Although the Dante is considered arguably the best Derby trial, Authorized was the last horse to complete the double in 2007, but Bonfire holds realistic claims.
Bonfire will represent Andrew Balding’s first ever Derby runner and the trainer has been proved to be shrewd in the way he has handled the build up to Epsom.
The three-year-old missed the Dee Stakes at Chester because of unappreciated soft ground and found the conditions at York to be more to his liking, beating Ektihaam by half a length.
However, Bonfire was having his first run of the campaign and so is entitled to come on for this performance, while jockey Jimmy Fortune never truly seemed to be all-out in the saddle.
Using Ektihaam as a guide, Bonfire’s performance probably ran to a rating of about 114, although this could be graded higher because of the fact that it was a seasonal reappearance.
But Camelot has already performed to a higher rating and his breeding suggests that he will be even better when stepped up to 1m4f.
This means that Camelot remains hard to oppose for the Derby at 8/11.
Of the other runners, Parish Hall remains the interesting candidate as he has not been seen at the racecourse since winning the Dewhurst Stakes last season.
Parish Hall is 16/1 to win the Derby and is another who may find 1m4f to be his optimum trip.
Trainer Jim Bolger has decided to replicate the preparation of 2008 Derby winner New Approach, in that his final race before Epsom will be just a week earlier in the Irish 2,000 Guineas.