Betfred Derby 2024: Aidan O’Brien discusses his Epsom hopefuls

 | Tuesday 14th May 2024, 9:22am

Tuesday 14th May 2024, 9:22am

Aidan O'Brien Betfred Derby Stable Tour

In just over a fortnight, the Betfred Derby 2024 takes place at Epsom as the very best three-year-old colts bid for Classic glory.

One of the key players will of course be Aidan O'Brien, who we caught up with at Ballydoyle earlier this week to talk through his leading contenders for the big race on June 1.

Betfred Derby 2024 Odds

  • City Of Troy @ 7/2
  • Arabian Crown @ 7/2
  • Ancient Wisdom @ 8/1
  • Los Angeles @ 8/1
  • Ambiente Friendly @ 8/1
  • Diego Velazquez @ 16/1
  • Capulet @ 16/1
  • Henry Longfellow @ 20/1
  • 25/1 bar

Aidan O'Brien hasn't lost faith in Betfred Derby joint-favourite City Of Troy ahead of his upcoming visit to Epsom.

The three-year-old son of Justify was a major disappointment in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket earlier this month, but the Ballydoyle boss suggests a fair reason for the no-show.

He said: "When he went in [to the stalls] he spooked, he reared, and the minute he hit the ground the stalls opened.

"Usually what happens when they do something like that, their heart rate will go up to something like 120 or 150 beats a minute, so he probably started off at 150 when it should be way lower. They go into the red zone when they go over 200 and he probably got there before halfway, so really it was impossible for him to keep going."

O'Brien confirms the plan remains to go to Epsom - and he clearly doesn't think any less of the Champion Juvenile, who is our 7/2 co-favourite at time of publication.

"He's done nothing since to make us change the plan," he went on. "The plan was always to start in the Guineas and go to the Derby and then go wherever after that, so that's where we still are."

"I'm not sure we ever sent a horse to the Derby with as much ability as this."

Aidan O'Brien with Betfred Derby joint-favourite City Of Troy

Los Angeles, who shortened into 8/1 after winning a key trial at Leopardstown last weekend, could join his stablemate (pictured above) on the boat.

"He's definitely a possible. He's going to progress big time," said O'Brien.

Another potential member of the Ballydoyle battalion is Capulet (16/1), who won the Dee Stakes at Chester last week.

His trainer, who has won the Derby a record nine times, said: "He was always a horse that was going to step up for going to a mile and a quarter, and we always felt he'd step up even further if he went further."

French 2000 Guineas fourth Diego Velazquez (12/1) earned lots of praise, but caution is advised as to his target with the Derby across The Channel another option for the son of Frankel. That decision will be left to 'The Lads'.

O'Brien admitted to a "tactical error" on his behalf when discussing Henry Longfellow, who was eighth at Longchamp, and the expectation is that he will take a significant step forward, but that's unlikely to be at Epsom with the St James' Palace at Royal Ascot said to be next on his agenda.

Click here for the latest on Aidan O'Brien's Betfred Oaks runners.

Find more Horse Racing Tips here at Betfred Insights

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