big-race-previewThe Investec Derby is the most famous Flat race in the world and on Saturday, we will find out who comes out on top in the 2019 edition! Below we’ve highlighted a Dark Horse in the Derby and all supporting races live on ITV Racing...

14:00 The Investec Private Banking Handicap Stakes (0-105) 1m 2f 17y

Dark Horse - Bet RED HOT 17/2 @ Unibet

There is an interesting mix of form and profile on offer for this valuable 10f handicap to kick off Investec Derby day, but this Richard Fahey trained filly is the least exposed and lightly-raced runner. A daughter of popular sire Siyouni, Red Hot has improved through each of her three starts to date. She finished 5th in the Cheshire Oaks behind Mehdaayih last time out and is interestingly rated on the back of that, with a mark of 90 for her handicap debut.

14:35 The Princess Elizabeth Stakes (Sponsored By Investec) (Group 3) 1m 113y

Dark Horse - Bet AKVAVERA 28/1 @ Unibet

This is quite a weak looking Group 3 on the face of things. Veracious has a clear opportunity to show herself to be up to contesting Group 1 races, but ultimately the Sir Michael Stoute runner has been underwhelming in her latest runs. Ralph Beckett’s Akvavera may well outrun huge odds under Harry Bentley. Something was clearly amiss at Goodwood last time out and it was not her true running. Last season, this 4yo comfortably beat Rawdaa at Sandown and that filly went close to beating Lah Ti Dar last time out. So there are some hints at classy ability and following that win, she won handsomely here at Epsom over the course and distance. There is a bit of soul-searching to do now, but at 28/1 she could be worth a nibble on this mission to bounce back.

15:10 The Investec Diomed Stakes (Group 3) 1m 113y

Dark Horse - Bet BYE BYE HONG KONG 11/4 @ Unibet

This Andrew Balding trained 3yo is being interestingly and deliberately campaigned to make use of his 3yo weight-for-age allowance against older horses. Last time out at Windsor, the 13lb pull over the re-opposing Oh This Is Us was probably the difference between loss and victory, not over-looking Bye Bye Hong Kong’s very likeable battling qualities after the Hannon trained rival had headed him. He gets 12lb from Zaaki and Oh This Is Us for this Group 3 test and once again this 3yo is definitely the elephant in the room with the weight concession and the white-hot Silvestre De Sousa doing the steering.

15:45 The Investec 'Dash' Handicap Stakes 5f

Dark Horse - Bet RECON MISSION 16/1 @ Unibet

In a field wholly stuffed full of older, ageing and in some cases, ancient veteran sprinters who’ve been around the block a million times, Tony Carroll’s 3yo Recon Mission rather jumps off the page here. An improving son of Kodiac, this lad seems to run well at every track he encounters and he produced a career best at Chester last time out. Having broke smartly from stall eight, Recon Mission was pulled back into midfield and stayed on eye-catchingly in the closing stages to get 2nd behind an in-form horse in Leodis Dream. Hollie Doyle is a much-improved jockey over the past 12 months and her mount has a low weight and a big chance if he gets the breaks here.

16:30 The Investec Derby (Group 1) 1m 4f 6y

Dark Horse - Bet SIR DRAGONET 11/4 @ Unibet

He is no dark horse at the prices, as this Camelot colt is the favourite for the Investec Derby, but in terms of profile, he couldn’t have come from further left-field in relation to Aidan O'Brien’s other candidates and general style of Derby prep for his horses. For a start, Sir Dragonet didn’t even have an entry for the race and did not run as a juvenile. After a modest enough but fairly eye-catching Tipperary debut win in late-April, he went off as a relatively unfancied runner in the Chester Vase, but absolutely destroyed the field under Donnacha O'Brien. Now come the questions. Is he a superstar? Or was he flattered at Chester? Will he handle fast ground, or does he need it soft? How will Sir Dragonet handle the occasion on only his third visit to a racecourse? There are several glaring questions this horse must answer in order to be crowned the Derby winner. But Ryan Moore has chosen him over 3-4 legitimate contenders trained at Ballydoyle and for that reason, he is the most intriguing runner in the field by a country mile. That’s not to say he’ll win. Who knows, at odds of 11/4, he could be the best or the worst value Derby runner we’ve ever seen on the Downs!

LISTEN to the GG Racing Podcast for Epsom HERE >>>, with Kevin O'Malley and John O'Connell offering their thoughts on the big day!


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