Epsom Investec Derby Preview 2012

This is a nine runner, 1 mile 4 furlong race with a massive prize pool of £999,999. As you would expect, all these runners are excellent horses and, of course, they are all aged 3.

First of all I am going to look at what I consider to be the two key trends that we should make a note of.

  • The top four in the betting have won 14 out of the last 15 races. This tells us that the market is a very accurate predictor in this race
  • A recent performance is a strong indicator but ideally not within 2 weeks as this proves to not give the horse enough rest period

With those two trends in mind let’s look at the runners in this race and create our shortlist.

I am going to start by removing runners who didn’t run a good race in their last race. This would remove Minimize Risk from our list of contenders.

Looking at speed projections we have Bonfire, Camelot and Main Sequence at the top of the pack, if we use speed graphs to look at recent performances then we can confirm these three runners as being potentially the fastest over similar conditions.

I will remove Cavaleiro as he has not had a good race for 259 days.

All the rest of the runners have potential…

Camelot has been improving rapidly and is by far the strongest in my Contender strength rating.

Main Sequence has the most impressive collateral form rating and has also been improving steadily. While the projected speed is not as good as Camelot it is still strong enough to be considered seriously. He has also won every single race he has ever been in.

Mickdaam has shown a decline in performance over similar conditions and his volatility is high. In a race of this quality we don’t want to be placing our money on a volatile runner and so I am going to remove him from contention.

Astrology doesn’t look to have enough class to be able to match the other runners in this race and we would need to see an improvement for this runner to cross the line first.

Of the rest Bonfire looks interesting having performed excellently in his last race in May. His collateral form has shown improvement and if he continues to perform this way then he could be a threat.

This is a hard race to make decisions in and I my three strongest contenders are Camelot, Bonfire and Main Sequence. Looking at the market Camelot is, at the time of writing this, an odds-on favourite and while he looks to be the strongest I would not want to be getting involved at those odds.

That leaves me with Bonfire and Main Sequence as each-way bets. You may want to consider them for place only bets. However I will also be looking at some exotic combinations to see if I can get good enough odds involving these runners.

Let me know who you will be betting on by leaving a comment below.

Michael Wilding

Michael started the Race Advisor in 2009 to help bettors become long-term profitable. After writing hundreds of articles I started to build software that contained my personal ratings. The Race Advisor has more factors for UK horse racing than any other site, and we pride ourselves on creating tools and strategies that are unique, and allow you to make a long-term profit without the need for tipsters. You can also check out my personal blog or my personal Instagram account.


  1. I have backed Main Sequence EW as a Value bet.
    Also taken up Ladbrokes offer and backed Camelot
    knowing I will win my bet or get my money back.

    A ‘no brainer’ as they say

  2. Camelot just can’t lose this one !!!!! – I am having an e/w on Thought Worthy but am worried that Bonfire may spoil the party ….

  3. I cannot see past Camelot, but there’s no value, as you say, Michael. It’s a must-see but no-bet race for me.

  4. Would not be surprised to see Cavaleiro spring one of the biggest upsets of recent times with its winning jockey back on board.

    1. An interesting choice mike, I ummed about that runner but finally decided that other runners had more class. I shall be watching him carefully though.

      1. Won a Class 2 and if you ignore the stupid Derby Trial @ Lingfield (whose bright idea was it to run classic trials on the AW) then he has form that looks as solid as others at much lower prices. I’d rather risk him improving just a little that should get him into a place than take 4/7 on the chance that the latest wonder horse will get the trip.

  5. will not back camelot at this price but I hope bonfire will give me a run for my tiny bet I liked the way he shaped up last time out.main sequence might just upset the applecart

  6. Camelot for me having taken the Ladbrokes offer and also Thought Worthy with betfair 2 pound win 3 pound place.

      1. Just that he looks a decent price and behind Camelot I think anything might happen. Also bred for the trip. I honestly think Camelot will win but I hope to get a run out of him.

  7. I think it would have to be Main Sequence for me, I wasn’t over impressed with Bonfire’s
    last run and odds on Camelot doesn’t interest me so it will be Main Sequence.
    Good luck to everyone.

  8. Camelot seems to be the most popular so far, unsurprisingly, with opinion split on Bonfire and Main Sequence.

  9. That to me was as impressive a Derby win as I’ve seen for some time. Usually we get the “will it stay” debate for the Leger. Not this time! Everything else might as well stay at home.

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