THERE was something about William Haggas after his strapping young colt Young Rascal had won the Chester Vase. After the race, he couldn’t stop talking. Quizzed by the press pack about his young colt, he found himself waxing lyrical about what he had just done and what he could become. It resonated in a way that rarely happens in post-race interviews. The horse, to this observer, is the standout bet in Saturday’s 2018 Epsom Derby at around 12/1.
Why? Well, he’ll definitely get the trip. The Derby sorts out the non-stayers and Young Rascal has won over 1m 4f at the Roodee. Haggas thinks he’ll stay further and the St Leger may enter the equation later in the season. The other reason was the manner in which he extricated himself from an unpromising position and still managed to put the race to bed. That was impressive. And when challenged by Dee Ex Bee he found a little bit more. There is no doubt he won cosily with James Doyle having more up his sleeve.
Saxon Warrior is a red-hot favourite for the 2018 Epsom Derby and it will be no surprise if he gives Aidan O’Brien his seventh success in the race. John Gosden, who saddles the second favourite Roaring Lion, has described Saxon Warrior as “imperious” and the vibes from Ballydoyle have been nothing but positive. “He could be the best ever”, has been the whisper. But he is no betting proposition at odds-on. And so much can go wrong in the Derby.
Roaring Lion stepped up in the Dante and, in most other years, would be a worthy favourite for ther 2018 Epsom Derby. Gosden has some doubts about his ability to see out 1m 4f and his optimum trip might be 1m 2f but don’t forget how close he got to beating Saxon Warrior in the Racing Post Trophy last year.
Kingscote’s first ride in 2018 Epsom Derby
Knight To Behold is interesting. A first Derby ride for the excellent Richard Kingscote, he was impressive in the Lingfield Trial and showed that he stays. His high cruising speed will be an asset and he is another worth an each-way look at around the 16/1 mark.
The aforementioned Dee Ex Bee looks overpriced from an each-way perspective at 33/1. He is a course winner and revelled at being stepped up in trip in the Chester vase behind Young Rascal.
Delano Roosevelt, Hazapour and Masar are all very good horses. However, they will probably come up short against those at the head of the market.
We may see something special in the 2018 Epsom Derby with Saxon Warrior. He’s a big, muscular animal with speed and obvious stamina in his pedigree. The Triple Crown has been strongly mentioned and it would be an incredible achievement if he can go on to do what Nijinsky did. But Epsom is Epsom. The hill, the turns, the camber in the home straight, the crowd… so many potential champions have come a cropper. Here’s to a great race but look out for a Young Rascal to spoil the script!