The Epsom Derby was a thrilling race in its own right, as you would expect from one of the integral pieces of the flat racing season.
However, now we have had time to digest what happened, it is time to look out for clues that will help us in the future. The biggest race to come is the final classic of the season, the St Leger, which is ran over 1m 6f, meaning two additional furlongs compared to the Derby.
The St Leger can often be the toughest classic to work out, as many of the horses have not run over that distance yet, and a few will be trying it for the first time on the day of the race.
What you need to look for here are horses that are staying on strongly in good races over 1m4f, showing that they are likely to get home over another two furlongs, and hopefully relish it. When it comes to 1m 4f trials for the St Leger, few are better than the Derby, and this is a great starting point for anyone looking at the St Leger antepost market.
The three favourites for the St Leger finished in the top four of the Derby, and they include the winner Anthony Van Dyck. He isn't the favourite for the St Leger though, despite having a Derby win under his belt, that goes to Japan, while Anthony Van Dyck is alongside Broome just behind the horse that finished third in the Derby.
Looking back to Epsom, on the day, the odds offered across the bookmakers available at Oddschecker showed good support for Broome out of the Aidan O'Brien runners, Anthony Van Dyck was behind him in the betting, while Japan was an outsider after a very disappointing run at York prior to going to the Derby.
In the Derby, Anthony Van Dyck came home first as the winner, Japan finished third and Broome finished fourth. However, in terms of which horse looks best suited to a St Leger, they are probably in reverse order to how they finished in the Derby.
Broome looked to be the one to take out of the race at Epsom. He finished strongly showing that he more than likely has the stamina to last out another two furlongs and lacks the turn of pace to be a 1m 4f horse. Another couple of furlongs could bring out the very best in him, and that is not only based on his Derby run but also his trial victory prior to the Derby, where he only just managed to get up close to the finish.
During the winter, Japan was in the top of the Derby antepost market, although we had to wait until the final trial of the sprint to see him, which was the Dante Stakes. He was very disappointing in that race, and a huge drifter in the market beforehand. All of a sudden, he was an outsider for the Derby, and when he finished third in the race, he outran the big odds by the side of his name.
He ran a similar race to Broome, and based on that it is no surprise to see him at the head of the market since he did beat Broome in their meeting. However, he showed a real nice turn of foot up the home straight to close on the leaders, which is different to Broome, who looked as though he stayed all day and just kept plugging on.
Japan has the edge over Broome because he beat him in the Derby, albeit only by a tiny margin, but Broome looks assured to get the 1m 6f St Leger trip, whereas Japan isn't certain to get it.
The final horse to mention is the Derby winner himself, Anthony Van Dyck. He won the Lingfield Derby Trial before his Derby win, and although he was the third string from the O'Brien yard on the day, his win was certainly no fluke.
He stayed on strongly towards the end of the Derby, and based on that he certainly doesn't want a drop in trip. Whether or not he wants 1m6f though is up for debate. He sat in midfield and came through with a late burst in the Derby, similar to how Japan ran, and while that shows he had plenty left in the tank to come with one final push at the end, it doesn't show us that he is a horse who will thrive and be better over 1m6f.
This horse may be the odd one out and miss the St Leger, despite being towards the head of the market already. He has won a Derby and shown that he can mix it with the best over 1m 4f. He wasn't an impressive winner, just getting up in the closing stages, but deserves his chance to prove he is one of the top mile-and-a-half horses for the remainder of the season.
Both Broome and Japan haven't got that win under their belts, and they may be in a better position to take a chance and move up in trip. Of this pair, Japan was ahead in the Derby but based on their running styles, you have to think that Broome will improve further for the step up in trip and he could be the number one choice of the Aidan O'Brien yard.
Article Posted on Tuesday 25th June 2019 @ 17.08
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