Betfred Derby & Oaks Trials 2024: Ylang Ylang and City Of Troy top the markets

 | Tuesday 14th May 2024, 15:56pm

Tuesday 14th May 2024, 15:56pm

City Of Troy image

Betfred TV's Matt Hulmes has taken a look back at the recent Betfred Derby and Oaks trials, and given his verdict, as well as the latest market movers, below.

Betfred Derby 2024 Odds

  • City Of Troy @ 3/1
  • Arabian Crown @ 4/1
  • Ancient Wisdom @ 7/1
  • Los Angeles @ 8/1
  • Ambiente Friendly @ 8/1
  • Diego Velazquez @ 16/1
  • Capulet @ 20/1
  • Dancing Gemini @ 22/1
  • 25/1 bar

The recent Betfred Derby trials we have witnessed were supposed to serve us a clearer picture of what may happen at Epsom, but they have muddied the waters somewhat, with some fancied fluffing their lines and unconsidered others flying towards favouritism.

The two powerhouses of Coolmore and Godolphin are well represented towards the top of the market.

The horse that certainly enhanced his claims was Charlie Appleby’s Arabian Crown after landing odds-on favouritism in the Sandown Classic Trial. He was immediately cut to 7/1 from 12/1 and then trimmed further to 4/1 on the back of City Of Troy’s disappointing run in the 2000 Guineas.

City Of Troy had been winter favourite for the Betfred Derby on the back of an unbeaten juvenile campaign but was beaten a long way out at Newmarket. Connections retain faith in the colt though with Aidan O’Brien reconfirming the horses qualities ahead of a tit at the Epsom classic.

He said on a recent press day at Ballydoyle: "He’s done nothing since to make us change the plan. The plan was always to start with the Guineas and go on to The Derby and then go wherever after that and that’s where we still are.

"Sometimes it happens and obviously it happened in the Guineas. Sometimes things don’t work and really I would always say that it’s my responsibility to make sure it works and when it doesn’t work, well, we’ve done our homework but maybe we didn’t do it all properly. That’s the way I would look at the Guineas.

"When he went down to the start he should have been relaxed but he went into the stalls and he was revved up. He wasn’t flustered but obviously his mind wasn’t in the right place, because he’s a very good-natured horse as you can see – unusually good for a colt. He’s very calm and relaxed but it all just happened at the wrong few seconds.

"It will make it very interesting the next day. For us, I’m not sure we’ve ever sent a horse to The Derby with as much ability as this. If we can get him to come out of those gates and everything to work properly for him then we can have him in the right place."

O’Brien has a replica of Tattenham corner at his Ballydoyle stables, implemented by his legendary namesake, Dr. Vincent.

Tattenham Corner

It is therefore no coincidence he has had a lot of success at Epsom, looking for his 10th Betfred Derby winner. On Tattenham corner, the Ballydoyle maestro said: "It’s vital. Obviously with Dr O’Brien everything was about The Derby and everything is really.

"Everyone can say whatever they want but the whole Thoroughbred generation every year is measured in The Derby and that’s just the harsh reality of it.

"I know it’s very hard to get a horse good enough to run in or good enough to win it and some horses don’t go on from it. Because it’s the ultimate test some horses find it very difficult.

"But there has to be a barometer and that is the barometer so everything in Dr O’Brien’s time, everything was about winning The Derby so every horse that works every day canters around ‘Tattenham Corner’ every day and it’s repetition."

Confidence has seemingly been restored in City Of Troy and his immediate quote of 6/1 post-Guineas flop has receded to 3/1 favourite.

Los Angeles was another to enhance his claims with a victory at Leopardstown on Sunday. He halved in price to 8/1 after running on strongly over 10 furlongs and the step up a quarter of a mile at Epsom will be right up his street.

O’Brien said of the Camelot colt: "We were very happy with Los Angeles yesterday. The horse that made the running – that was the way it was going to suit him. Maybe we should have sat a bit closer to him if it had been a stronger race but Wayne (Lordan, jockey) was very happy with the horse.

"He’s a big relaxed horse. We always thought he would step up big time when he went to a mile and a half and we were very happy with the way that he won so he’s definitely a possible."

Los Angeles gives O’Brien another strong string to his bow in his quest for a 10th Betfred Derby victory, as does both Capulet (16/1 from 25s) who won Chester’s Dee Stakes and Diego Valezquez (12/1 from 16s) who despite finishing fourth in the French 2000 Guineas, looks likely to benefit from a step up in trip.

Away from the big guns but also at Longchamp, Dancing Gemini did his chance no harm with an eye catching second in the 2000 Guineas and with a pedigree that should relish the extra half-mile, is no forlorn hope to give Roger Teal a fairytale success.

Speaking of fairytale results, James Fanshawe’s Ambiente Friendly was cut to 8/1 from 100/1 after a runaway success in the Lingfield Derby trial. His pedigree doesn’t scream middle distances but his performance on Saturday did, giving his owner, Bill Gredley and family their first Derby contender in over 30 years.

The Derby roadshow heads to York for the Dante, arguably the strongest Trial in recent years and invariably produces a new Epsom favourite.

In terms of the Betfred Oaks, again it is team Coolmore who appear to hold the aces.

The 1000 Guineas fifth Ylang Ylang heads the market at 9/4 after a narrow defeat in a bunch finish at Newmarket, where she was initially cut to 5/2 from 11/2 in the immediate aftermath.

She won last year's Group 1 filles’ Mile which is usually a good pointer to the Oaks, especially from this yard, with O’Brien saying of the Frankel filly: "We weren’t sure whether Ylang Ylang would get the trip as she was keen and that is why her disappointing runs came in the middle.

Ylang Ylang to win Betfred Oaks at 9-4

"When we got her back and taught her how to relax she was like a middle-distance filly and that is what she was like in the Guineas as well.

"We were very happy with her in the Guineas. We thought going to the Guineas that she was an Oaks filly given the way she had been working and that is how she ran. Ryan was very happy with her. He let her find her feet and he felt she came home very well."

Coolmore also have a very able second string in the form of Found’s sister, Rubies are Red, who was a very eye-catching second in the Lingfield Oaks trial having made up many lengths in the straight.

O’Brien said of the well-bred filly: "The plan had been to go to Lingfield so rather than going for another maiden we stuck with the plan. Ryan said she was very green at Lingfield and he nursed her. Because of that, she got a long way back but when he straightened her up she really came home well.

"She is definitely an Oaks-type filly. Her running style is like Found’s in that she takes her time and comes late."

Rubies Are Red was cut into 8/1 from 33s despite defeat.

Rubies are Red to win Betfred Oaks at 8-1

Victory went to Ralph Beckett’s filly, You Got To Me who was given a forceful front running ride by Hector Crouch. She was slashed into 14/1 from 40s, but you would fancy the form to be reversed at Epsom.

Beckett looks likely to be doubly represented as he also trains the Cheshire Oaks heroine, Forest Fairy. She was cut to 10/1 (from 20/1) after her Roodee success where she showed battling qualities in the short straight to score.

Going back to the 1000 Guineas, and the undoubted eye-catcher was the fast-finishing fourth Tamfana. She was cut to 10/1 from 33s but looks likely to head to the French version over 10 furlongs, or to Royal Ascot for the Coronation Stakes.

Again, we look to York on Wednesday where the Musidora will have a big bearing on the Betfred Oaks market.

Find more Horse Racing Tips here at Betfred Insights

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