What a weekend we have coming up. First up, this Friday we have the Oaks Stakes, one of the classics and a race that dates back to 1779. Then, on the very next day, on the same course, Epsom, we have the world’s most prestigious flat race, the Derby, which itself dates back to 1780.
The 2021 Derby will held be on Saturday 5 June at 16:30 (BST) with the Oaks staring 24 hours earlier. Viewers can watch all the action across the entire weekend, which also includes the Group One Coronation Cup, on ITV who have the terrestrial television rights.
The races are both run at Epsom Downs over a distance of around a mile and a half. As a course, Epsom is a left-handed, U shaped track known for its tight bends. The first four furlongs of the Derby course are uphill, and stamina is key.
So, who are likely winners of this year’s Oaks and Derby? Scroll down for our recommended Epsom betting tips and predictions.
2021 Epsom Oaks Betting Tips
We have 13 entries remaining the 2021 Oaks Stakes draw at Epsom now we have passed the six-day declaration point.
At least five of these hail from the famed Ballydoyle stables where king of the flat Aidan O’Brien looks to find yet another winner. The favourite of his entries this year is Santa Barbara who only has two runs on her CV.
She made her debut at the Curragh where she won over a mile to Kailash at 9/2. She followed that up with her only Group One outing thus far which came in the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket where she came home fourth, behind Ballydoyle stablemate Mother Earth.
This is enough to convince punters that she can take down the second fillies classic of the summer. Her Rowley experience could serve her well for this step up in trip and it’s worth remembering that, of Aidan O’Brien’s last four winners, only half of those, Qualify (2015) and Forever Together (2018), were considered to be among his first string entrants.
Ballydoyle are also the masters behind the race’s second favourite, Snowfall. Victor a month ago in the Musidora Stakes at York, she should have no troubles stepping up to this particular 1½ mile charge.
The market has shifted for Divinely whose price seems to be tightening by the minute. The sister of Found, who won the 2016 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, lost her first three starts in maiden company but made a roaring comeback in the Group Three Flame of Tara Stakes over a mile at the Curragh back in August.
She then went on to go well in the Novibet Oaks Trial Fillies’ Stakes at Lingfield last month in race that was won by another of Friday’s entrants, Sherbet Lemon.
We wont be put off by the price of the sweet sounding American runner as she has beaten many of the runners in this field by at least two lengths in the Novibet Lingfield Oaks trial, including Save A Forest who came home second that day.
- Santa Barbara – 5/1
- Snowfall – 11/2
- Teona – 11/2
- Zeyaadah – 11/1
- Divinely – 12/1
- Saffron Beach – 12/1
- Dubai Fountain – 12/1
- Ocean Road – 14/1
- Save A Forest – 33/1
- Sherbet Lemon – 33/1
- Technique – 50/1
- Willow – 50/1
- La Joconde – 66/1
2021 Epsom Derby Betting Tips
On to the Derby which takes place Saturday and the race’s most successful ever trainer Aidan O’Brien, this year looking to produce his ninth winner, only enters one runner in the biggest flat race of the year.
We had been all set to acclaim the magnificent High Definition, but he has now been withdrawn and will run in the Irish Derby at the Curragh later on this month instead, leaving Ballydoyle relying on Bolshoi Ballet for the Epsom Classic instead.
Consequently, Frankie Dettori, who was expected to mount High Definition will now be onboard John Leeper for the world’s greatest flat race.
Bolshoi Ballet is the son of Galileo, the famed 2001 Epsom Derby winner who, also sired High Definition for what it’s worth. Also, again for what it’s worth, it was only less than 12 months that we saw another son of Galileo, Serpentine, win this race.
A trio of victorious Leopardstown runs, including a pair of Group Threes, have convinced plenty that Bolshoi Ballet is worth their money. At two furlongs shy of the Derby distance, wins in the Ballysax Stakes and Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial Stakes were indeed impressive, but you do need to rewind almost two decades since a horse won the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial prior to winning this particular Epsom classic.
Over the last 15 years, two thirds of Derby winners made their penultimate pre-Derby feature either at Newmarket in the 2,000 guineas or the Chester Vase or the Dante Stakes, none of which saw Bolshoi Ballet on the card.
Following High Definition’s withdrawal, Newmarket Stakes victor Mohaafeth and Fairway Stakes winner John Leeper are next in the betting, with Irish 2000 Guineas winner Mac Swiney, the only Grade 1 winner in the field, not far behind, although it does look like he won’t be getting to enjoy his favoured soft going.
Dante Stakes champ Hurricane Lane also has strong claims for the team that saddled 2018 winner Masar, while Van Gogh, third in 2,000 Guineas, looks the type that would enjoy the Derby trip. Youth Spirit went well at Chester at the start of May showing he can handle the trip as well as the challenging courses of Newmarket and Goodwood and, of course, the Roodee which has to put him in contention.
Remember though, outsiders have generally fared better of late with favourites not doing particularly well in recent renewals of the Epsom Derby so pick well.
- Bolshoi Ballet – 5/4
- Mohaafeth – 13/2
- John Leeper – 6/1
- Mac Swiney – 6/1
- Hurricane Lane – 8/1
- Third Realm – 10/1
- Southern Lights – 18/1
- One Ruler – 22/1
- Youth Spirit – 28/1
- Adayar – 40/1
- Gear Up – 40/1
- Mojo Star – 66/1
- Make your Epsom bets here