Camelot wins the 2012 Epsom DerbyLast year, Aidan O’Brien’s Camelot (pictured) landed the Epsom Derby, but who will add their name to the history books in 2013? We’ve taken a look at the 2013 Epsom Derby field and picked out a 9/1 (10.00) shot with William Hill that we fancy to win the famous race. Read on for our full Derby preview and of course, our betting tip…

In our bid to find the winner of the 2013 Epsom Derby, we’ve cast our eye over recent winners of the race, picking out the important trends and building a profile of what a Derby winning horse should look like. Here are the findings:

Key Epsom Derby Trends

Breeding

  • All of the last 12 Epsom Derby winners were born before April 7th
  • All of the last 12 winners were sired by horses with a stamina index of 8.6 or greater
  • 11 of the last 12 Derby Stakes winners were sired by Group 1 winners

These trends clearly illustrate that we should be looking for something with the right amount of class and stamina in its pedigree, and we should be focusing on the more mature horses amongst the 2013 Epsom Derby lineup.

Recent Form

  • All of the last 12 Epsom Derby winners had run in the past 35 days
  • All of the last 12 Derby winners had finished in the front 3 of every race that season

These Epsom Derby trends tell us that we should be backing a race sharp, in-form horse.

Past Form

  • All of the last 12 Derby Stakes winners had won at least 50% of their career starts
  • 11 of the last 12 winners had already scored in a Group race
  • 11 of the last 12 Epsom Derby winners began their career at 7f or 1m

These trends suggest that our 2013 Epsom Derby selection should already have shown plenty of ability in its brief racing career. There is also a certain pattern to the career development of a Derby winner, and that usually begins with races over 7f and a mile rather than being pitched straight in over further.

Summary

The hot favourite for the 2013 Epsom Derby – Dawn Approach – falls down on a couple of trends. Born late in April, the chestnut son of 2008 winner New Approach is probably too young, while he started out life as a sprinter, over 5f and 6f. He is unbeaten and he looks classy, but there are serious doubts for me over his stamina. At current best odds of 11/10 (2.10, with Paddy Power), there are clearly much better value options to be found amongst the lineup.

After applying all of the above trends to this year’s Derby field, we can boil it down to just two selections – Battle Of Marengo and Ocovango.

I do like the Aidan O’Brien colt (currently a best price of 9/2 [5.50] with Coral) but for me, the 2013 Epsom Derby is all about Andre Fabre’s Ocovango. A comfortable winner of the Group 2 Prix Greffulhe (a race won by another talented Fabre colt, Pour Moi, en route to Derby success in 2011) where he showed tactical versatility and proved that he can go on better ground, having won his first two starts on very soft and heavy ground. A son of Monsun, it would be fair to assume that he would want it soft but despite the official Prix Greffulhe description of Good to Soft, connections have said they felt the ground was better.

At a current best price of 9/1 (10.00) with William Hill, Ocovango looks like the value play in the 2013 Derby.

Advice

The 2013 Epsom Derby Stakes
Saturday June 1st, 16:00

Ocovango @ 9/1 (10.00) with William Hill

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