The famous Epsom Derby kicks off at 16:55 at Epsom Downs this afternoon, and showcases what we hope will be some of the best 3-year-olds in the business.
Sometimes referred to as the Blue Riband, the Derby is steeped in history.
The Group 1 race has origins going back to 1627.
That’s nearly 400 years old!
The “Manx Derby” was the name coined back in those early years. The true Derby, as we know it today, was decided by a coin toss. At a party, it was debated whether it should be named after the 12th Earl of Derby, the host, or Charles Bunbury. According to legend, Charles Bunbury deferred to his host and allowed the coin toss to be won by the Earl, and all these years later, we still have the Derby!
Since then, it’s been altered many times and in many ways, with different starting positions and even different courses. The Derby has inspired many namesakes such as the Kentucky Derby, the Derby Italiano, the Deutsches Derby, the Irish Derby and the Prix du Jockey Club (The French Derby).
All that history makes me feel somewhat nostalgic!
It was my Grandfather who introduced me to racing, and to watching the Derby (and betting, of course!). He inspired me to follow horses, and helped put together all of the pieces of the horse racing puzzle. My Grandfather would spend hours showing me how to breakdown a race, price-up the horses, analyse the markets, look at the form and, most importantly, understand the various staking plans he used, which allowed him to minimise his losses and to improve his gains. He passed away over 20 years ago now, but his meticulous legacy lives on in me, and in how I approach a race.
The Epsom Derby Trends
The first thing that I’ll be doing is looking at the stats and trends. What we’re looking for here are horses that fit the bill, comply with the trends and therefore make the shortlist.
Here are the trends for the race –
Price – 9 of the last 12 winners were in the top 3 of the betting
Stall – 9 of the last 12 winners were drawn in stall 7 or higher
Last Run – 10 of the last 12 winners ran in the last 35 days or less. 12 of the last 12 winners had at least placed on their last run before The Derby
Previous Course Form – None of the last 12 winners had run or had a win at Epsom before
Previous Flat Form – 10 of the last 12 winners had at least 3 previous flat runs
Rating – 11 out of 12 winners were rated 109 or higher
Group Wins – 10 out of 12 winners had at least 1 win in a group race (1-3)
Season Form – 12 out of 12 winners had at least 1 run that season
(Stats taken from The Stats Don’t Lie)
Looking at the stats, we need to concentrate on the top of the market. I’m writing this the afternoon before the racing, so I’m going to eliminate anything outside the top 5 in the betting. The reason for this is that, if we have an overnight gamble, we’re generally safe with the top five being in the top three of the betting come the race day.
THE HORSES WE’RE LEFT WITH
We can see that the current BF odds present us with the top five in the betting.
Now, we need to break down those five horses using the other trends.
Only two from the top five in the betting are drawn in stall 7 or higher. This leaves us with Kameko and Vatican City, both of which have run in the last 35 days. Both of the two-horses shortlisted have been placed in their last runs.
Kameko fits all the trends. Vatican City is let down by the fact that he’s never won a Group race, although he did come close in the Irish 2,000 Guineas and, on that form, we can’t discount him.
On the breakdown of the trends, we can confidently say that both Kameko and Vatican City are good fits.
Now we need to analyse the ratings and see how our shortlist of the two horses compare.
THE SHORTLIST COMPARISON
Our first port of call is to use the 5278 Contender Finder Ranking. We can see this easily by using the software within the Race Advisor’s Pro Members Club.
We want to find the first 8 in the 5278 contender finder ranking. There’s 16 runners in this particular puzzle, but focusing on the top half of the 5278 contender ranking means that we can halve the field of potentials.
Now that we have narrowed down the field to half, we need to run a simulation of the race. All of this is possible using the RA Pro Members Club Monte Carlo software.
Looking at the screenshot below, we can see that Kameko shows as a very high percentage.
The percentage, on the right-hand side of all the other figures, shows that Kameko has a high percentage chance of winning.
Based on the trends and ratings, my selection would be Kameko.
It’s a seriously competitive race of course, it’s the Epsom Derby after all. To be cautious, I will be betting 20% of my stake on the win and 80% of my stake on the place.
Let’s hope for a win but, all in all, let’s enjoy the race and the spectacle that this year’s Derby will give us.
I’d love to know who you’re going to be betting on in this years Epsom Derby. Let me know in the comments below.