THE Investec Derby picture is a little hazy. The Dante at York normally helps to remove the fog but it was a horse who didn’t actually run, Cracksman, who saw his odds contract after the race. That was due to the victory of Permian who Cracksman had beaten in the Epsom Derby Trial.
Permian is generally a 12/1 shot for Epsom and will be a rare opportunity for the north to have a Derby winner. But there are bits of 16/1 available and that offers each-way value. If he was trained by a Gosden, O’Brien or Stoute I suspect he would be a lot shorter. Gosden’s Wings Of Desire won the Dante narrowly last year and was promptly made one of the favourites for the Derby. So Permian, at a double digit price, offers some value. He should stay and has proved he handles Epsom.
Cracksman and Frankie Dettori remain popular and deservedly so and I would much rather take the 5/1 about him than the 4/1 for ante-post Investec Derby favourite Cliffs of Moher.
Elsewhere in the Dante, Rekindling stayed on nicely but was a little disappointing while Crystal Ocean will miss Epsom, according to Sir Michael Stoute. The runner-up Benbatl ran a solid race and is one of several Epsom options for Godolphin. He could enter the equation if the ground at Epsom is on the easy side.
Godolphin also have Lingfield Derby trial winner Best Solution in the frame for Epsom and he was visually impressive. His quote of 12/1 looks fair.
Back to Cliffs of Moher, I was at Chester when Aidan O’Brien’s Galileo colt beat an ordinary field in the Dee Stakes in ordinary style. He has been a typical Ballydoyle talking horse and the bookies took no chances by trimming him on the back of his workmanlike success. He is favourite based on the positive vibes coming from Coolmore and not a lot more. I’ll pass on him at the price.
O’Brien could have seven runners at Epsom with 2,000 Guineas winner Churchill a likely absentee. Venice Beach won the Chester Vase from stablemates Wings of Eagles and The Anvil and looks more of a Queen’s Vase horse. But Wings of Eagles at 25/1 is another who offers each-way value at Epsom. He finished his race off really well at Chester and looks overpriced for the Derby.
The horse who went into most notebooks at Chester was Mirage Dancer, who stayed on really well in the Vase. He is a big boat of a horse who may not be best suited to the undulations of Epsom. He looks a gorgeous prospect wherever he is campaigned.
1pt each-way Permian 16/1
1pt each-way Wings of Eagles 25/1