Who Will Win the Epsom Derby?

Author: Published: May 27, 2024
City of Troy running

What a way to begin a new month! Saturday June 1 sees the Epsom Derby take place and City of Troy is the current favourite to win the race. That’s despite a disappointing run last time out, so just who will win the Epsom Derby?

Favourite backers beware because only one of the last eight in this race have won. There have been some big priced winners in recent years and that could well happen again this Saturday.

The Epsom Derby is never that easy a race in which to pick a winner. Horses need to be able to handle the tricky course and they’ll be travelling over 12 furlongs. For some runners that might be too far. With others, it may well bring out massive improvement.

Improvement needed

Aiden O’Brien has trained the winner of the Epsom Derby on a record nine occasions. He trains this year’s favourite City of Troy who is 2/1 at bet365. After an unbeaten run as a two-year-old, City of Troy was given rave reviews. However, when going off as favourite for the 2000 Guineas, it all went wrong.

He only beat two of the 11 runners and raced far too quickly in the first half of the race. Nothing was left in the tank and he came home a tired and beaten runner. Why is he favourite to win the Epsom Derby then?

Major rivals such as Arabian Crown and Economics won’t be running this weekend. The hope is that City of Troy will settle better and have plenty left in reserve. His sire is Justify who has won over 12 furlongs so he should be able to be effective over this distance.

Ambiente Friendly is currently the second favourite and can be backed at 11/2 with BetVictor. Trained by James Fanshaw, this contender was a comfortable winner of the Lingfield Derby Trial. That race was run over a mile-and-three-and-a-half furlongs and Ambiente Friendly was eased down when winning the race. 

Unbeaten Prospect

Aiden O’Brien has a strong hand to play in the 2024 Epsom Derby. He also trains Los Angeles who is 5/1 at bet365. Like father, like son? His sire is Camelot who is a former Epsom Derby winner. Los Angeles is unbeaten in his three races and won a Group 1 race last year over 10 furlongs. 

His one run this year saw him win the Leopardstown Derby Trial, again over 10 furlongs. He was staying on well in that race and is an excellent each-way bet.

Charlie Appelby has trained two winners of the Epsom Derby in recent years. Both his winners in 2018 and 2021 had an SP of 16/1. He was hopeful Arabian Crown would win him a third Epsom Derby but he’s out injured. 

Now his hopes rest with Ancient Wisdom who is 8/1 at William Hill. This runner was second in the Dante Stakes ending hopes of a hat-trick. Last year saw this winner successful in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes at Doncaster. Seeing out a mile-and-a-half should be fine, his sire is Dubawi who finished third in this race in 2005.

This is a historic race and in 1812 it was won by Octavius. That was the name of a character in the William Shakespeare play ‘Julius Caesar.’ Could 202 years later, another horse named after a Shakespearean character win the Epsom Derby?

Macduff is trained by Ralph Beckett and is 16/1 at William Hill to win the Epsom Derby on Saturday. He’s only won one race so far but was a good second behind Arabian Crown in April at a Derby Trial held at Sandown. 

His sire is Sea the Stars who won both the Epsom Derby and the L’arc de Triomphe over a mile-and-a-half. Improvement over this longer distance is likely so he’s another strong each-way contender.

Deira Mile is 33/1 at BetVictor but was a good winner at Windsor in April and is another runner sired by Camelot. He has a good outside chance here.

It’s going to be a fascinating race on Saturday and Los Angeles looks the best runner in this race but beware a City of Troy recovery.

New Customers only. Bet £10* & Get £30* in Free Bets. Sign up, deposit between £5* and £10* to your account and bet365 will give you three times that value in Free Bets when you place qualifying bets to the same value and they are settled. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits. Min odds/bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. T&Cs, time limits & exclusions apply. Registration required.