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Our Channel ‘earns’ massive Derby quote after poor Epsom trial

| 24.04.2014

The William Haggas-trained three-yr-old Our Channel booked his place in the Derby when staying on to win at Epsom by a head, but the colt’s chances of landing the prestigious 1m4f event look bleak, with Ladbrokes going 50/1 about a triumphant June return to the course.

Haggas’ wife Maureen conceded afterwards that their inmate might not get the full Derby trip on good ground, while jockey Ryan Moore is sure to be on board one of the leading fancies on his return to Epsom, having won the race last year aboard Ruler of the World.

Moore gave the son of English Channel one of the rides of the season so far to land outsider odds of 14/1 ahead of John Gosden’s Marzocco, who had been as low as 3/1 in the pre-race betting, with 6/4 favourite Hartnell finishing 2l off the winner in fifth for Mark Johnston.

Mrs Haggas didn’t quite crush Our Channel owner Abdulla Al Mansoori’s hopes of running the horse in flat racing’s showpiece event, but the 50/1 quote indicates the standard on show in this Derby trial and means the sprightly chestnut will fall into ‘best watched’ territory should he take his place.

Aidan O’Brien combined with Moore last summer to land his fourth Epsom Derby with Ruler of the World and the master of Ballydoyle will be mob-handed as usual for this year’s renewal.

Australia looks set to lead the charge for the County Tipperary-based handler at 5/2 in the market, but the way the cards fell for Moore last season suggests there’s scant value to be had from steaming into the main O’Brien fancy.

The champion jockey was handed second-pick of O’Brien’s horses in 2013, after the trainer’s son Joseph plumped for Battle of Marengo, but Moore gave Ruler of the World a textbook ride to finish almost 2l clear of the Galileo colt back in fourth.

Australia was also sired by Galileo, who gave O’Brien his first win in the race 13 years ago, while Ruler of the World came from the same Montjeu line as the second-shortest Ballydoyle poke currently in the market – unbeaten bay Geoffrey Chaucer.

At 16/1 and with Ladbrokes paying 1/4 the odds on the first three home in each-way punts, Geoffrey Chaucer looks the value pick to land a fifth Derby for O’Brien and co-owner Michael Tabor.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Alex Fortune