Aidan O’Brien trains eight of the 15 left in the Derby field at the final declaration stage. Telecaster and Sir Dragonet were added to the Derby field at a cost of £85,000 each on Monday morning.
The 240th renewal of the Derby at Epsom takes place on Saturday with Aidan O’Brien looking for a seventh win in the race. Sir Dragonet is favourite after his impressive win in the Chester Vase when last seen under Donnacha O’Brien.
That performance saw the son of Camelot shoot to the top of the Derby betting market, despite not holding an entry for the Epsom Classic at the time. Sir Dragonet as with several hundred or so yearlings was entered in the Derby at the start of his career but given he shows connections nothing at home, was removed from the entries. His performance at Chester left "the Lads" with little option but to Supplement him for Epsom.
A Step Up
The Derby on Saturday is unlikely to be run in a similar manner to the Chester Vase when Sir Dragonet was last seen. The colt was slowly away and was allowed to find his rhythm. That will not happen in the madness at Epsom. As the race progressed on softened going his action suggested the ground was very much in his favour. That will not be the case in the Derby with a dry week forecast. However, Sir Dragonet’s rate of progression is impressive and Aidan O’Brien won the race in 2013 with Ruler of the World taking a similar path.
This season Aidan O’Brien has dominated the Classic trials. Sir Dragonet and Circus Maximus won at Chester, a track of similar topography to Epsom. Anthony van Dyke, who had excellent juvenile form, won the Derby Trial at Lingfield. Broome won both the Ballysax and Derrinstown races at Leopardstown. While Cape of Good Hope obliged in the Blue Riband Trial at Epsom in late April. Norway chased home Sir Dragonet while Japan finished fourth behind Telecaster in the Dante, the only prep race of note to escape Ballydoyle’s clutches. It is an enviable equine arsenal for Epsom.
Galileo started Aidan O’Brien’s grip on this race in 2001. It’s a tradition at Ballydoyle started by his predecessor Vincent O’Brien. While the two O’Briens’s are unrelated the equine dominance since 2001 is not, with Galileo fathering eight of Saturday’s runners. Another two are his 'grandchildren'. The Ballydoyle Derby legacy looks set to continue on Saturday and beyond.