No favourite this century has started the Epsom Derby at a bigger price than 7/2, but with co-favs Wings Of Desire and US Army Ranger both currently available at those odds with Ladbrokes, and four other runners at 10/1 or shorter, the colt’s classic looks as open as ever this year.
Even Frankie Dettori, the two-time Derby winner booked on Wings Of Desire for trainer John Gosden, with whom he took this prize last year aboard Golden Horn, believes the field could be tricky to separate ahead of next month’s renewal.
Speaking after taking his charge for a spin round the Epsom track, Dettori said:
“With this one I’m just hoping for the best, because there are possibly 10 horses which could be as good as mine.”
The 45-year-old was also quoted stating there are “good vibes in Newmarket” for Sir Michael Stoute’s Ulysses, now 7/1 with Ladbrokes after breaking his duck with an eight-length win at Newbury last time out, with a runners-up spot and a blanket-finish sixth making up the son of Galileo’s career to date.
Cloth Of Stars can be backed at the same odds for Godolphin and jockey Mickael Barzalona, the 24-year-old with a startling 100 per cent record in the Derby, having won it on his only other appearance aboard Pour Moi in 2011.
Godolphin, who have yet to manage an Epsom Derby win, may believe 2016 to be their best chance with Cloth Of Stars for French handler Andre Fabre, trainer of Pour Moi five years ago, and Irishman Jim Bolger’s Moonlight Magic, priced at 10/1.
Bolger, who snuck New Approach into the race at the last minute for a cheeky victory eight years ago, said this of his latest star:
“I rate him as a good Derby prospect and I wouldn’t swap him for anything else in the race. He has the looks, demeanour, balance and temperament to go with his pedigree. There are no holes in this fella and he’s beautifully balanced, so hopefully he will handle Epsom well.”
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.