Racing has been dubbed the “sport of kings” and this year’s meeting will prove to be no exception. The Queen, who first began owning racehorses in 1949, will make the presentation to the winning connections of the Derby. The sponsors, Investec, will also name the Coronation Cup after Her Majesty in celebration of her 90th birthday.
Many of the all time great racehorses grace the winners’ list and includes the likes of Galileo, Nijinsky, Mill Reef and Shergar. In recent years the sport of racing has become increasingly international and high profile owners, from the likes of China, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, have sought to find a horse worthy of the first prize of £1.54 million.
Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum, the founder of racing superpower Godolphin, has yet to win the Derby but has two runners entered for this year’s renewal. The Andre Fabre-trained Cloth Of Stars (6/1 with Ladbrokes), who was supplemented as a late entry for the race, and Jim Bolger’s Moonlight Magic. The former, who is the son of the great Sea The Stars, has won three out of his five starts and could feature at the competitive end of the race.
It would be impossible to discuss the Derby without mentioning leading trainer Aidan O’Brien. With over 250 Group 1 winners to his name, he once again brings a strong team to Epsom Downs to add to his five Derby wins. US Army Ranger (9/2 with William Hill) is arguably his strongest chance in the race, out of the seven entered, despite not particularly impressing when winning the Chester Vase. However, you can never rule out O’Brien when it comes to producing Classic winners.