Betting on the 2018 Epsom Derby

The 2018 Epsom Derby festival runs this weekend from Friday, June 1 through Saturday, June 2 with 14 races on the menu. It’s a short festival, but the Investec Derby Festival is full great racing and you can rest assured opporunties abound for the smart handicapper.


Where to Bet on the Epsom Derby Online

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Although it is only a two-day festival, there is something magical about the event which features the Epsom Derby, one of the Five Classics, Britain’s most lucrative race and the most coveted prize in Flat racing. Also known as the Blue Riband of the turf, the Derby has been run for well over 230 years and routinely attracts the greatest horses in the world.

It is a race that has produced legends such as nine-time winning jockey Lester Piggott and famous winners such as Galileo, Shergar, and Nijinsky. Over 100,000 people visit Epsom racecourse during the two days as there are several world-class races to choose from. As well as analysing the Derby, we also look at the fillies’ version, the Oaks, and the Coronation Cup on day one.

Coronation Cup

Friday, June 1

This Group 1 race is the perfect appetiser for the Oaks which takes place just 80 minutes later. It is open to all horses aged 4yo+ and is run over a distance of 1m 4f and 6 yards. It was established in 1902 to celebrate the coronation of King Edward VII. It is the same distance as both the Oaks and Derby and entrants have often run in one of those two events in previous years. Fillies and Mares receive a three-pound allowance in a race with a £375,000 first prize.

Previous Winners

YearHorseOdds (SP)
2013St. Nicholas Abbey (also the winner in 2011 and 2012)30/100
2014Cirrus Des Aigles10/11
2015Pether’s Moon11/1
2016Postponed8/11
2017Highland Reel9/4

Betting Trends and Information

There are eight confirmed runners at the time of writing with Cracksman the overwhelming 1/3 favourite. Hawksbill is the distant second favourite at 11/2 and the rest of the field are 12/1+.

  • 16/21 winners were in Stalls 1-5.
  • 18/21 winners finished in the top 3 in their last race.
  • 10/21 favourites have won the race; 20/21 were in the top 4 in the betting.
  • 17/21 winners had 0-1 season runs.

The draw hasn’t been made yet but there is a clear bias towards horses drawn in the first five stalls. In a race known for being fairly open, it is surprising to see such a clear favourite. However, Cracksman has won four races in a row including three Group 1 events and looked sensational in the Champion Stakes at Ascot.

Idaho won a Group 3 at Chester but finished way behind Hawkbill in his previous race. The American Hawkbill is a double winner at Meydan and the most likely to defeat Cracksman. However, it is hard to see beyond Europe’s top-rated horse who was the arguably the best 3yo on the planet.

Coronoation Cup Odds (Antepost)

Racebets.comComeOn.comWilliam Hill
Cracksman1/34/111/3
Idaho11/211/25/1
Hawkbill11/211/26/1
Cliffs of Moher16/116/112/1
Barsanti20/122/125/1
Windstoss22/128/125/1
Yucatan20/125/125/1
Salouen50/166/140/1
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The Oaks

Friday, June 1

This is a race for 3yo fillies and is the third of the five Classics held during the season. The event is named after The Oaks estate near Epsom which was leased to the 12th Earl of Derby in the 1700s. He helped found the Oaks race which was first run in 1789 and won by Bridget, one of the horses he owned.

By the middle of the 19th century, it was regarded as one of the foremost filly races in the world and is a staple in UK racing. Today, all entrants carry nine stone. The winner receives over £283,000 which is why it is so competitive each year.

Previous Winners

YearHorseOdds (SP)
2013Talent20/1
2014Taghrooda5/1
2015Qualify50/1
2016Minding10/11
2017Enable6/1

Betting Trends and Information

There are 13 confirmed entries at the time of writing including Wild Illusion who is the 7/2 favourite. The Charlie Appleby trained filly is followed in the betting market by Magical at 9/2 and Sea of Class at 6/1 with the rest of the field 13/2+.

  • 17/21 winners finished in the Top 2 in their last race.
  • 10/21 winners were outside the top 3 in the betting market.
  • 21/21 winners had their last run 12-33 days before the race.
  • 21/21 winners had 1-3 season runs.

Favourites have a dubious strike rate and almost half of the last 21 winners have been outside the top 3 horses in the betting market. Recent big priced winners include Qualify at 50/1 and Talent at 20/1. Indeed, the top 2 did not finish in the first two places in their previous races while five other entries won their previous race.

Chester Oaks winner Magic Wand is arguably Aidan O’Brien’s most likely winner and surely represents value at 7/1. For those seeking a long shot, you could do worse than Athena at 33/1. The O’Brien trained filly was only two lengths behind third favourite Sea of Class in her last race and could potentially bridge that gap at Epsom.

The Oaks Betting Odds (Antepost)

Racebets.comComeOn.comWilliam Hill
Wild Illusion7/211/43/1
Magical9/211/26/1
Sea of Class6/111/213/2
Magic Wand7/16/111/2
Forever Together7/113/27/1
Bye Bye Baby9/117/29/1
Perfect Clarity9/19/19/1
Give and Take11/111/110/1
I Can Fly14/114/112/1
Ejtyah20/118/116/1
Flattering33/133/133/1
Athena33/140/1N/A
Sizzling40/150/1N/A
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The Epsom Derby

June 2

The richest prize on the British Flat scene is a race open to all 3yos (barring geldings) with fillies receiving a three-pound allowance. This year’s winner will receive an incredible first prize of £850,000! The first Derby was run in 1780 and won by Sir Charles Bunbury’s horse, Diomed. It is a historical race and in 1981, Shergar produced the greatest ever performance by annihilating the field in a 10-length victory.

Previous Winners

YearHorseOdds (SP)
2013Ruler of the World7/1
2014Australia11/8
2015Golden Horn13/8
2016Harzand13/2
2017Wings of Eagles40/1

Betting Trends and Information

Who can stop Saxon Warrior? The 2,000 Guineas winner is the 4/6 favourite followed by Roaring Lion at 11/2 and Young Rascal at 12/1.

  • 19/21 winners finished in the top 2 in their last race.
  • 17/21 winners were in the top 3 in the betting market; 19/21 were in the top 4.
  • 16/21 winners had their last run 16-30 days before the race.
  • 20/21 winners had 1-2 season runs.

On the face of it, Saxon Warrior seems invincible after his remarkable win at Newmarket. However, his wins have all been over one mile so can he survive an extra half mile against horses used to running over 1m 3f and more?

An extra four furlongs has caught out many a great horse and both Young Rascal and Roaring Lion have won races over longer distances. When the heat is on in the final two furlongs, will Saxon Warrior show his undoubted class or will he wilt under pressure from the other top-level horses in the field?

While the favourite’s pedigree suggests the extra trip shouldn’t prove a problem, and he found plenty in the 2,000 Guineas in the closing stages, he may be worth opposing if there is quick ground at Epsom because he has yet to encounter it in his fledgling career. Nelson could be a worthy outsider at 40/1 (perhaps emulating last year’s winner). He was a poor sixth last time out but only lost by a neck to Roaring Lion at the Juddmonte Stakes at Newmarket last season so the quality is there.

However, Wings of Eagles aside, almost all of the winners in the last two decades have been amongst the favourites. If Saxon Warrior delivers, he will be two-thirds of the way towards completing the Triple Crown; a feat last achieved by Nijinsky in 1970.

Epsom Derby Betting Odds (Antepost)

Racebets.comComeOn.comWilliam Hill
Saxon Warrior8/118/114/6
Roaring Lion11/211/26/1
Young Rascal11/111/112/1
Hazapour12/111/110/1
Delano Roosevelt12/112/112/1
Masar14/116/116/1
Knight to Behold16/116/116/1
The Pentagon16/120/120/1
Sevenna Star25/128/133/1
Dee Ex Bee25/128/133/1
Rostropovich33/140/150/1
Kew Gardens33/133/140/1
Nelson33/140/140/1
Zabriskie66/150/166/1
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