Epsom Downs: Blue Riband Trial Analysis

Gaz reviews Tuesday's action from Epsom Downs where a number of horses put their Derby and Oaks credentials on show.

The first Derby trial of the season took place on Tuesday, and it had a big impact on the betting picture. The Blue Riband Trial was the feature race of the day and it didn’t disappoint. The John Gosden trained Uncle Bryn went off a warm 11/10 favourite but could only manage a third place finish, dashing the hopes of ante-post backers. This horse had shortened significantly in the ante-post Derby market recently, contracting from 25/1 to 14/1 over the last week or so. He’s now generally available at 33/1 for the big one in June.

It is probably too early to give up on Uncle Bryn fully, and you can make some excuses. He got excited in the prelims and then ran quite keen in the early part of the race. That keenness was likely the reason jockey Frankie Dettori chose to make a move at the halfway point. Having travelled in mid-division for the first five furlongs, Dettori took his mount wide around rivals to challenge for the lead. When he hit the front he showed signs of greenness before flattening out towards the finish. While it’s too early to write him off, it would be a brave person to part with their money after that showing.

Wirko The New British Hope?

The race was won by the Charlie Appleby trained Wirko who wasn’t previously entered in The Derby, but his victory here has earned him a spot in the Blue Riband event. It was a great performance from the son of Kingman. Outpaced as he turned Tattenham Corner, he stayed on well to win by a head. The most impressive aspect of the run was his ability to handle the track. He looks a well balanced colt and didn’t look impacted by the unique undulations of Epsom Downs. Given how this colt powered home you would think the step up to The Derby trip will bring further improvement.

Jockey William Buick was very complementary in his post race interviews, indicating Wirko would run in another Derby Trial in the coming weeks. His priced of 16/1 for The Derby looks about right, and he does set a good standard. The St. Leger though, is likely where we’ll see this horse at his best.

Tasty Technique

The Martyn Meade trained Technique impressed in her run, looking the likely winner entering the final furlong before being headed late on. She wasn’t stopping herself, and look as though the step up to The Oaks trip will be ideal. She’s now available at 20/1 for The Oaks and that looks to represent a bit of value.