Saturday’s Epsom Derby was quite a thing to behold, as has been the case from time immemorial.
Known as just The Derby, the horse race is officially branded the Investec Derby by virtue of its sponsorship. This competition is the richest and most prestigious flat race on the British racing calendar, with a prize fund of around £1.5 million from which the winner claims around £0.8 million.
The Derby, which runs at Epson’s Down’s Racecourse in Surrey, has been around since 1780 and is considered to be one of the top national sporting events in the UK.
Saturday’s Derby saw Anthony Van Dyck come out on top and watching this race has left us with this conclusion: the best horse doesn’t always win, but the most determined is almost always sure to. Van Dyck, trained by Aidan O’Brien and rode by Seamie Heffernan, was not favored to topple the other competitors but managed to do so by the slimmest of margins, with the first five finishers separated by under a length.
Van Dyck was not among the frontrunners for the majority of the Derby and was still in ninth place with just two furlongs left to run. To make matters worse, the likes of Sir Dragonet (11/4), Madhmoon (10/1), Japan (20/1), Broome (4/1) and Circus Maximus (10/1) were all in the thick of things.
Heffernan’s priceless experience would be called upon at the crucial moment. The jockey should now be the most successful back-up rider in turf history, having ridden 30 winners at Group One level. This latest win, though, has to count as the best of them all.
With much ground left to cover, Heffernan beckoned some more effort but had to switch right and then left rather quickly in order to get closer to the far rail to find space for the final push. With four other opponents speeding through a seemingly private race in the middle of the track, Heffernan and Anthony Van Dyck brought up the inside to steal the lead nearing the pole, barely holding on for a thrilling win.
Anthony Van Dyck was given odds of 13/2 to win the Epsom Derby and must have left punters who took a chance on him pretty upbeat. That’s it for Epsom until 2020 but the racing calendar has plenty of betting opportunities on offer. The next major race is the Royal Ascot, which kicks off on June 18 and ends on June 22. The five-day competition starts off with the Queen Anne Stakes and anyone looking for the best deals could find horse racing free bets at freebets.co.uk. Bet365 is currently offering odds of 9/2 on Mustashry to win that particular race, while MoPlay is offering 15/2 on Barney Roy.
Favorite, Le Brivido, has odds of 4 from Betfair to come out on top but Spreadex are offering 9/2, which could be taken advantage of. Paddy Power, meanwhile, are offering odds of 8 on Laurens emerging victorious, also presenting odds of 10 on Accidental Agent.
The Royal Ascot will likely leave racing enthusiasts and punters very occupied as it offers 30 races over the five days, including 17 Group Class races. At least one Group One race will take place on each of the five days.
With the event just around the corner, there’s still plenty of time to get a few bets in, As for the Derby, Anthony Van Dyck’s win has left O’Brien a seven-time Derby winner. One more victory will see him become the record holder in that regard.