There are few more prestigious races on the horse racing calendar than the Epsom Derby. The race has the ability to change the course of the future of racing, with winners often going on to stand for huge fees later in their career.
The Derby will once again take place at Epsom Downs, and will be run across a distance of one mile and four furlongs.
The date for the diaries this year is Saturday, June 3, with the race getting underway at 4:30 PM. However, even though it’s early, you can already use the horse racing sign-up bonus by TwinSpires.com and bet on your favorites.
So, who are some of the early contenders that could be on the road to Derby success?
Considering that we are still four months away from the Derby, it shows how highly regarded Aidan O’Brien’s Auguste Rodin is given the fact that he is a 3/1 favourite in the betting.
The three-year-old son of Deep Impact was beaten on debut over seven furlongs at Curragh, but bounced back with a strong performance over the same distance at Naas. After a 70-day break, he was stepped up to a mile for the first time at Leopardstown, and he was a commanding one-length winner over Caroline Street.
However, the performance that got all fans excited came in October, as he won the G1 Vertem Futurity Trophy at Doncaster over a mile in heavy conditions. That three-length success over Epicetus certainly makes him the one to beat at this early stage.
Charlie Appleby trained his second Derby winner in 2021 with Adayar, and Godolphin will be hoping that they have another solid Derby contender within their ranks for 2023.
It’s extremely likely that we haven’t seen their very best contender at this early stage, but Silver Knott certainly looks the right profile of horse that could improve over the extending distance.
The three-year-old has made two career starts over a mile to date, with the latest of those ending in a close second behind Victoria Road at the Breeders’ Cup in November.
Prior to that effort, he beat Epicetus by a neck at Newmarket. Like we said, the real Godolphin contender is likely to emerge over the early months of the season, but Silver Knott could be one to watch.
One of the big stories heading into the Derby this year will be the fact that it will be Frankie Dettori’s last effort in the great race. The legendary jockey has won the Epsom showpiece on two occasions, with his most recent success coming with Golden Horn in 2015.
We aren’t yet sure who the Italian will ride this year, but there is a sense that Chaldean could be a prominent choice.
Dettori has ridden the three-year-old on each of his previous two starts, and the contender comes into 2023 after winning four from five. Each of his previous two runs with Dettori on board have resulted in wins, with the most recent of those coming over seven furlongs at Newmarket, as he landed the G1 Dewhurst Stakes.
That has often been a significant prep for the Derby, and there will be no shortage of fans calling Dettori home in one final Derby.
Aidan O’Brien’s hand for the Derby this year appears incredibly strong at this stage, and one of his bigger-priced selections in the betting at present is 25/1 chance Cairo. There is a lot to like about this three-year-old already, as he has already won over a mile.
That victory was secured at Curragh, as he held off Gulf of Mexico to win by a neck. He was stepped back in trip after that win, as he finished second on the all-weather at Dundalk, before getting back into the win column at Leopardstown with success by two lengths in the G3 Killavullan Stakes.
I would be very interested to see what the plan is with this three-year-old going forward.