Aidan O’Brien had plenty of runners entered at the five-day declaration stage, although the Ballydoyle trainer has put his faith in Camelot and Astrology to run big races and it’s clearly his hope and belief that they will be the first two home.
Camelot has been all the rage for the Derby ever since winning the QIPCO 2000 Guineas where the colt narrowly touched off French Fifteen to oblige at odds of 15/8. This time around, the odds about another classic triumph aren’t anywhere near as big although punters are still looking to set stuck in.
At the time of writing, Camelot is a best price 8/13 (bet365 £200 free bets) with many believing that the son of Montjeu doesn’t have an awful lot beat and the argument being that the 2012 Derby is not the strongest renewal.
The extra four furlongs will arguably be to Camelot’s advantage considering that the horse was finishing fast at Newmarket last month and might benefit from a mile and a half in trip. Joseph O’Brien on board looks like a safe pair of hands and it will take something special to topple this hot pot.
Even so, the last time a horse was this short for the Derby was in 1947 when Tudor Minstrel went off at 4/7 and the favourite was turned over that day, while Bonfire is a horse that could potentially cause an upset based on previous performances.
It was a great performance from the Andrew Balding-trained charge to win the Betfred Dante Stakes by four lengths and many people that the son of Manduro is equipped to become the champion three-year-old and subsequently middle distance colt of the year. The second favourite is a 9/2 chance (Betfred) to claim victory.
However, whether or not the extra furlong and a half will suit Bonfire is another matter, with Camelot sure to stay on and many people have been sweet on the favourite ever since the O’Brien horse hacked up in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster.
The other Ballydoyle horse is Astrology and this three-year-old produced a gutsy victory when winning the Dee Stakes at Chester on what was testing ground. While the horse went off 11/10, it did everything required and perhaps there isn’t too much between stable mates.
Astrology is an 8/1 chance (Paddy Power free bets) and will be backed each-way along with Main Sequence who is unbeaten in four starts and was the winner of a Derby trial on the Lingfield all-weather last time out.
The final horse in the race that merits respect is Thought Worthy, with John Gosden’s runner having looked like a Derby contender ever since he triumphed at Newcastle last October and an impressive win at Newmarket a fortnight ago means a lot of each-way money will be piled on here at 16/1 (Ladbrokes).