With only three English entrants, this year’s Derby presents an opportunity for an unprecedented hat-trick for overseas raiders.
And after winning three of the last five renewals, it is no surprise that the Irish are dominating the betting.
All the talk has been of 2000 Guineas winner Dawn Approach, and whether he will get the trip, and Aidan O’Brien’s unexposed Battle Of Marengo and the debate over just how good he is.
However, there has been one Gaelic runner that has slipped under the radar – the David Wachman-trained Galileo Rock.
An impressive winner on his debut at Leopardstown, the son of champion sire Galileo was extremely impressive, showing a great turn of foot to quicken up inside the final furlong and win by seven lengths.
Since then, he has been unable to dispatch his rivals in similar fashion, although he has been competing at the very highest level.
He found himself slightly outpaced in the Group 3 Autumn Stakes and the need for a step up in trip was perhaps evident after finding the bare mile too sharp.
The Rockfield Farm-bred colt then completed his preparation for the Derby by tackling the Group 3 Classic Trial at Sandown. The extra two furlongs certainly seemed to suit as he stayed on well under Wayne Lordan, but was just unable to get past two rivals and eventually missed out by half a length.
The staying power he displayed that day certainly stands him in good stead for Epsom and his trainer has been pleased with his preparation.
Wachman said: “The plan was always to go to Sandown and then the Derby. We’re very happy with him and he’s a well-balanced colt who likes fast ground.”
He continued: “The favourite has the best form from the Guineas but Epsom is a one-off place and we think our horse will run well.”
Galileo Rock is available at 33/1 and would return a tidy profit to those who believe he can displace his more fancied compatriots.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.