Aidan O’Brien Looks To Win His Seventh Epsom Derby

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Irishman Aidan O’Brien had a record-breaking year in 2017 as he broke the world record for the number of Grade/Group One victories around the globe with 26. One of those successes came in the Derby at Epsom where Wings of Eagles prevailed in the 2400 metre contest.

The Irish Champion trainer will fancy his chances of making it win number eight in the Derby this year with Saxon Warrior who is the ante-post favorite with the bookmakers at 4.5 in the betting. The three-year-old won all three of his races in his debut season last year, with the highlight coming at Doncaster in the Group One Racing Post Trophy last October.

It could be a big year for Irish horses around the world as they have had the ante-post favourites for the Grand National, 2000 Guineas, Kentucky Derby and Derby. Saxon Warrior has been backed to come out on top at Epsom ever since his debut victory at Curragh where he looked very professional, scoring by just over three lengths.

Saxon Warrior is also likely to be joined in the British Classic by The Pentagon. The son of Galileo won the Group Three Tyros Stakes at Leopardstown last season. He had to settle for third place at Doncaster though in the Racing Post Trophy. Given his breeding, he is expected to improve when he does step up in trip to 2400 metres later in the campaign.

O’Brien will have been disappointed with The Pentagon’s opening start in 2018 as he went off as the favourite for the Group Three Ballysax Stakes. That contest featured three runners from the Ballydoyle stable and he was unable to finish ahead of his stablemates Nelson and Delano Roosevelt, who came home first and second respectively.

UK Epsom DownsMasar is the leading British-trained horse in the Derby this year who recently won the Craven Stakes at Newmarket. Owned by the Godolphin operation, the colt thrashed his opposition by nine lengths in a field which included the highly regarded Roaring Lion.

The Derby is one of the few major international flat races on turf that Godolphin have yet to win. This son of New Approach produced a career-best performance on his latest start, as his record before then was less than average.

The 2018 Derby at Epsom takes place on June 2 and will be preceded a day earlier by the Oaks, which is the leading Classic for fillies at the same course in Surrey, England.

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About Editor

Rich Nilsen is a 16-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 twice. He cashed on the NHC Tour for 2018 with a 19th overall finish. Rich was also a winner of a $24,000 package into Kentucky Derby Betting Championship I. A former executive with Brisnet.com, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of AGameofSkill.com, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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