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Fancied Camelot could struggle on Derby day.

I AM betting against Camelot in this year's Derby for a number of reasons. The favourite is a good horse, but he represents no value, and will struggle with both the track and the fact that his jockey is too inexperienced for my liking.

I like Main Sequence at 10-1 to take on the favourite, but my best bet is an each way bet on Cavaliero at 50-1, ridden by the glamorous Hayley Turner.

No one would create a racecourse quite like Epsom. The Derby is run on the side of small precipice, with a downhill run at Tattenham Corner that would scare you if you were driving a off road vehicle, let alone a stallion racehorse, busting a gut to beat every other animal in the race.

I am a former jockey. Speak to any jockey and they will tell you that the Derby is a roller-coaster ride like no other. You need a balanced horse, and a jockey who can cope with the pressure. The derby is also a graveyard for odds on favourites and I think we will see another upset.

Camelot has been favourite for the Derby since his Racing Post Trophy success last autumn, and won the 2,000 Guineas well, but I disagree that he just has to turn up to win. There are the winners of Derby trials at Sandown, Chester, Lingfield and York facing him and plenty of alternatives for the North East punter.

He has it all to do; the last horse to win the Derby at odds-on was Shergar, who hacked up under Walter Swinburn by a record ten lengths when successful at 10-11 in 1981, but the three odds-on favourites in the intervening period - including El Gran Senor, Tenby and Entrepreneur - were all beaten.

Camelot has only raced three times and he has never faced a race like the Derby. Even more important is his jockey: young Joseph O'Brien is only 18 and is a Derby novice: before 125,000 race-goers, and the Queen on her Jubilee weekend, this is no place for the novice.

He may theoretically be on the best horse in the race - the bookies do not lie in their assessment of his mount after his emphatic 2000 Guineas win - but I fancy a couple of the others to be both too good on this ground, and a lot better value than an odds on shot. The second-favourite is Bonfire, who won well in the Dante Stakes at York, when not fully fit.

But the value bet to beat the favourite is Main Sequence: the 10-1 third-favourite looked impressive in winning the Lingfield Derby trial a couple of weeks ago. Behind him that day was Cavaliero, who got bumped when trying to make his challenge. Cavaliero is, however, my choice at great each way odds of 50-1. He has a genuine chance, and is trained by former Derby inning trainer Marcus Tregoning, who has been making it clear that he thinks his charge has a far better chance than the odds he now has.

Cavaliero will go to post with big-race rider Hayley Turner, as the pilot. She will become only the second female jockey to ride in the Derby. Hayley Turner rides as good as any of the men and has battled hard to be taken seriously. She is worth our money at great each way odds.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jun 2, 2012
Words:562
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