The Epsom Derby is the standout contest from a quality five-race card on ITV this Saturday.
Saxon Warrior has long been the favourite for the 239th running of the Classic, although a nightmare draw has put the frighteners on for pundits and punters alike.
That’s put Hazapour, Young Rascal and Roaring Lion on alert, as Aidan O’Brien’s runner looks to avoid becoming the latest favourite to be toppled in an English or Irish Classic.
We’ve previewed the Derby and the rest of Saturday’s action – including the Epsom Dash – in our ITV Racing Tips…
Forget the draw, forget the weather and forget the worries over a step up in trip, Saxon Warrior can handle it. O’Brien’s star was practically bred for this race.
The son of Deep Impact has the best form claims on offer too. He’s unbeaten in four starts and turned over 5/2 shot Masar to land the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket last time out.
No horse has won the Triple Crown since Nijinsky in 1970. But O’Brien’s three-year-old has the ability to change that with his rare combination of speed, stamina and relaxed demeanour.
It’s the Derby first, though. And with Ballymore sending out four of the last six winners of this renewal, Saxon Warrior looks a fair shout to extend his unbeaten record.
Four horses are vying for favouritism in the Princess Elizabeth Stakes. Lincoln Rocks, Shenanigans, Wilamina and Anna Nerium are all in the conversation for the Group 3 contest.
For us, though, it’s the latter of the quartet who makes the most appeal. Richard Hannon’s raider showed her class last season when landing a similar looking contest at Salisbury.
Make no mistake, this is a tougher ask. But a handy seventh-place finish in the 1000 Guineas bodes well for a horse who has shown a liking for softer ground in the past.
Caspian Prince has made the Epsom Dash his own in the last half-decade.
The nine-year-old speedster has won the 5f sprint on three occasions and for three different trainers in 2014, 2016 and last year.
This time he goes for the in-form Mick Appleby, who will be hoping the veteran can replicate last year’s success from stall one in stall two this time around.
His recent form claims aren’t great. But it’s hard to look past the Prince as he bids for a record-breaking fourth Dash success.
ITV Racing Tips:
2:00 Epsom – Ship Of The Fen
2:35 Epsom – Anna Nerium (NB)
3:10 Epsom – Arod
3:45 Epsom – Caspian Prince (Lively Longshot)
4:30 Epsom – Saxon Warrior (NAP)
All Odds and Markets correct as of date and publication