Epsom Derby 2022 Betting Tips, Odds & Analysis
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One horse dominates the odds in the Epsom Derby betting offers and for once, he’s not trained by Aidan O’Brien.
Desert Crown has been all the rage for the Epsom Classic since his Dante Stakes romp and there is no doubt that Sir Michael’s Stoute holds leading claims.
But the 2022 Derby is no one-horse race and viable alternatives to the favourite at much more appealing odds are not particularly difficult to find.
It is seven years since the last favourite won the Derby and four of the last five winners were sent off 16/1 or bigger.
Some red-hot favourites have been vanquished during that period, not least 4/5 jolly Saxon Warrior in 2018 and a randomness has crept into this mile and a half contest.
The reason for that? Well, the unique nature of Epsom racecourse is definitely a factor. Many a big name has had his Derby dream dashed by not handling the camber in the home straight and those that don’t can often roll across rivals that are making headway towards the inside rail.
There is a randomness to this race, especially in a big field, that you just don’t get in many other high profile races and with 17 runners set to line up for the 2022 edition, we could be in for a similarly messy renewal.
2022 Epsom Derby Betting Odds
|Stone Age||4/1||Paddy Power|
Then there is the draw - always a major factor in big-field races on the round course at Epsom. A low draw (1-3) is often a significant hindrance on a horse’s chance in the Derby because the field tends to move to the outside of the course after a furlong or so in order to negotiate a right-hand turn.
Adayar finally ended that low-stall hoodoo in 2021 but overall, those low traps are a real hindrance.
Three of the last five winners have come from a double-figure stall so Desert Crown’s stall 12 gate shouldn’t be considered a negative.
The son of Nathaniel, whose jockey will be wearing the blue and yellow Saeed Suhail silks that were carried to victory by Kris Kin in 2003, is aiming to provide his trainer with an incredible sixth Derby success - although it will be his first since Workforce sluiced up in 2010.
Nathaniel is yet to have a Derby winner but he is the sire of great filly Enable, who won the Oaks in 2017 before going on to have a stellar career over middle distances. It is surely only a matter of time that Nathaniel breeds a Derby winner.
Can Kingsgate Steer Crown To Glory?
There is no doubt that Desert Crown is a colt going places and it’s easy to see why he has been the Derby ante-post favourite for quite some time.
His three and a quarter length success in the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes is the best single piece of form on offer as we head into Derby weekend and there is every chance that there is stacks more to come from this potentially top-class colt after just two career starts.
However, there are two potential areas of concern for anyone wanting to get stuck into the 7/4 about Desert Crown for the Derby with betting sites.
Firstly, he is one of the least experienced horses in the race. Sure, that means there is plenty of upside, but there is a flip side - his inexperience could easily cost him in a big field race around Epsom. If he is forced wide in the home straight, then the camber is going to provide a real test of his ability to stay balanced and run straight and true.
Then there is his jockey, Richard Kingscote, who has ridden just six winners (from 68 rides) around Epsom. He’s had more winners at 90% of the courses he has ridden at and he finished 11th of 12 (Knight To Behold in 2018) on his only previous Derby ride.
Kingscote’s lack of Derby experience is something to factor in, especially in such a big field.
O’Brien’s Likely Lads
Desert Crown’s biggest dangers appear to be the Irish challengers, although perhaps not in the order in which they figure in the betting.
Stone Age took his form to a new level when he bolted up in the Leopardstown Derby Trial but that race hasn’t thrown up an Epsom winner since High Chaparral in 2002. An official rating of 115 puts him within 2lb of Desert Crown and it looks likely that he’ll be ridden by two-time Derby-winning jockey Ryan Moore.
However, stablemate Star Of India should not be underestimated, especially as he’s open to more improvement than the much more experienced Stone Age.
Star Of India’s form as things stand wouldn’t be good enough to win a Derby but he wouldn’t be the first Aidan O’Brien winner to take another big step forward tackling a mile and a half for the first time.
He was pretty disappointing in the Craven Stakes on seasonal return but he took a mighty leap forward over the stiffer stamina test of the Dee Stakes at Chester, which he saw out strongly. Ryan Moore was very complimentary afterwards and Star Of India looks a bona-fide each-way contender for the Derby.
Fellow Chester winner Changingoftheguard was the beneficiary of a very astute ride from Ryan Moore in the Vase and it remains to be seen whether this horse has the tactical speed to get a good position from stall 16 on quicker ground.
Donacha O’Brien’s first-ever Derby runner Piz Badile isn’t guaranteed to stay a mile and a half on pedigree but he rallied well to get up late on in the Ballysax Stakes (1m2f) and that form took a boost when runner-up Buckaroo bolted up next time.
Charlie On A Classic Hot Streak
Adayar gave trainer Charlie Appleby his first Derby success 12 months ago and the Newmarket trainer, who has already won three Classics this season, is once again triple-handed in his bid to follow up. It’s worth remembering that Adayar was the biggest-price of Godolphin’s three runners last year.
William Buick will have had the choice of the trio and he’s gone with Nations Pride, who made it four wins on the bounce when he bolted up in the ten-furlong Newmarket Stakes in April.
That career-best piece of form appears to put him in pole position in terms of the Godolphin contenders although stablemate Nahanni has the advantage of course experience having won the Cazoo Blue Riband Trial under Buick.
Walk Of Stars still looked like he was learning about the game when he went down narrowly in the Lingfield Derby Trial so don’t rule out a bigger effort at Epsom.
Best Of The Rest
Westover looks one to be interested in at bigger odds. The sizeable son of Frankel is expected to keep on improving this season as he fills out his big frame and he’s not short on talent either.
The Ralph Beckett-trained colt defied a lengthy lay-off and signs of greenness to win Sandown’s bet365 Classic Trial in April and although that form hasn't been tested, he will surely come on a good deal for the run.
He’s related to plenty of horses that stayed a mile and a half and the fact that he holds entries in all the big middle-distance races this season strongly suggests that connections think they have a good one on their hands. He’s an appealing 22/1 chance with horse racing betting sites.
Derby Betting Verdict
Desert Crown is short enough now to be taken on. The favourite aside, it looks like a wide-open edition of The Derby so it's worth throwing a dart at a couple of bigger-priced runners with potential.
Star Of India and Westover, one from each side of the Irish Sea, fit the bill at 16/1 and 20/1 respectively and if you back them each-way with UK bookmakers, you will get SIX places!
The best advice is to shop around because enhanced terms will be freely available on the day.
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