2013 Epsom Derby Preview
This weekend sees the 234th running of the Epsom Derby at Epsom Downs racecourse in England, Surrey. There will be twelve runners in the race, which is the richest in Britain with a prize purse of over £1 million. The much fancied favorite, currently at around even money, is Dawn Approach, who will be looking to extend his unbeaten run on Saturday,
Dawn Approach is trained by Jim Bolger, who also owns a share of the horse along with Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin operation. He has already won the 2,000 Guineas this year, and a victory in the Derby will give him a chance to become the first Triple Crown winner since Nijinsky in 1970. The draw has been reasonable, and he’ll be racing from stall seven.
Sheikh Mohammed and his Godolphin team have yet to have a Derby winner, and now would be the perfect time to win the race given the recent scandal surrounding the doping of his horses. In something of a coincidence, the former Godolphin stable jockey Frankie Dettori is likely to return from his six month drugs ban this weekend. Dettori has not got a ride in the big race, but could yet be called up as a substitute if another jockey gets injured.
Of the twelve horses in this year’s Derby, only three are British. Seven are Irish trained, including five from leading trainer Aiden O’Brien. One of these, Battle of Marengo, is currently the second favorite to Dawn Approach. The race also sees its first ever German trained horse in Chopin, while there is Ocovanga representing France.
As of Thursday evening the ground at Epsom Downs was described as good to soft, soft in places. The forecast is for sunny dry spells, so this may change as the race approaches. As always, the race is expected to attract a large crowd, of around 100,000, and is sure to be watched by many more around the world. It is not a race you want to miss, and it takes place at 4pm (BST) on Saturday.
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