Epsom Derby one-liners
After scribbling the in-depth form guide on Monday, and chiming in with some ground and post updates Thursday, I have no new brainstorms to offer in the final hours leading up to Saturday’s Derby (G1) at Epsom.
So here’s an idea: a distillation of one-line thoughts on each horse, in alphabetical (and program) order.
Across the Stars – Well-bred Stoute trainee has scope to do better but needs massive improvement.
Algometer – Smart form plus residual give in the ground equals a proper exotics threat at a price.
Biodynamic – Longest shot on the board for a reason.
Cloth of Stars – Godolphin blueblood is still on the upswing but some hesitation about French form.
Deauville – Strong second in Dante might be the best value among O’Brien’s squad.
Harzand – Aga Khan homebred has the raw talent, if he’s agile enough to navigate Epsom.
Humphrey Bogart – Shapes up a second-tier contender despite useful efforts at Epsom and Lingfield.
Idaho – O’Brien’s full brother to Highland Reel will get the best set-up he’s had in a while.
Massaat – Guineas/Dewhurst runner-up tops field on Racing Post ratings now, but will he stay there?
Moonlight Magic – Once-beaten 3/4 brother to Sea the Stars is overpriced for a horse of his profile.
Port Douglas – Presumptive Coolmore pacesetter could hang on a lot longer than expected.
Red Verdon – Rapidly progressive handicapper has the look of a live longshot for Ed Dunlop.
Shogun – Full sister Qualify shocked last year’s Oaks at 50-1, but it can’t happen twice, right?
Ulysses – Stoute’s son of Galileo and Light Shift is an underlay in his first start outside maiden company.
US Army Ranger – O’Brien’s most highly regarded prospect has done everything right so far.
Wings of Desire – Dante winner gets respect by definition, but not yet convinced he’s best.
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US Army Ranger photo courtesy of Champions Series via Twitter