- Cloth of Stars won the Prix La Force and Prix Greffulhe, while US Army Ranger triumphed in the Chester Vase and Wings of Desire stormed to victory in the Dante Stakes.
- Moonlight Magic won the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial, Algometer the Cocked Hat Stakes, Harzand the Ballysax Stakes and Humphrey Bogart the Lingfield Derby Trial.
- Jockey Frankie Dettori won last year’s race on board Golden Horn, who was later retired to stud. Dettori has again teamed up with trainer John Gosden and will ride Wings of Desire.
The odds reflect how difficult it is to call this year’s race and have fluctuated all week in the build-up to the big event. It is a 21st Derby for the popular Dettori and, having won the Dante, Wings of Desire looks to be the one to beat. The highly-rated colt may have only made his racecourse debut in April and was added to the entry list late on, but with Dettori’s experience to call on, this look a strong team in whatever conditions are thrown at them.
The ground is likely to be good at best following some rain earlier in the week and for that reason there might be a reluctance among some punters to back US Army Ranger. Cloth of Stars has notched up some impressive results in 2016 and Ulysses looks like a potential star in the making, although perhaps he is not quite ready to win a race of this calibre.
Apart from US Army Ranger, trainer Aidan O’Brien has four other horses in the line-up and Port Douglas’ odds look tempting at 16/1 in some places, but Moonlight Magic could represent even better value at roughly 12-1. The Jim Bolger-trained colt showed real class to win the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial earlier this season and he should cope well even if the ground is softer. An each-way bet in a fiercely-contested field could be the way to go.
- Sports.net’s top tip: Moonlight Magic Each Way (Top 3 - 1/4) - 12/1