Derby Runners: Confirmed Derby Runners and Racecard

A stellar field will line up for the 2020 Epsom Derby.
A stellar field will line up for the 2020 Epsom Derby.

We take an in-depth look at all the runners for the 2020 Epsom Derby, which will take place behind closed doors on Saturday afternoon...

1. Amhran Na Bhfiann (William Buick/Aidan O'Brien)

A twice-raced maiden who will be regarded as one of the lesser likely winners from a strong Aidan O'Brien battalion heading to Epsom for the Derby. He was last seen finishing fourth behind stablemate Tiger Moth in a Leopardstown maiden in June, however, Tiger Moth has since franked that form by finishing second in the Irish Derby, so Amhran Na Bhfiann has some decent form in the book despite not actually getting in his head in front so far.

2. Emissary (Jim Crowley/Hugo Palmer)

Not making his racecourse debut until October 2019, Emissary made a pleasing start to his career as he comfortably eased to victory in a Wolverhampton maiden. Sent off an even money favourite for the listed Cocked Hat Stakes at Goodwood in only his second start, the now three-year-old was just touched off by Khalifa Sat, and that pair are set to lock horns again at the weekend. He's a half-brother to a Derby winner in Workforce and could have each-way claims with a top jockey booked.

3. English King (Frankie Dettori/Ed Walker)

Having broken his maiden tag at the second time of asking at Newcastle as a juvenile, English King catapulted into the Derby picture with a sparkling success in the Lingfield Derby Trial last month. Travelling smoothly throughout that listed event, English King showed a fine turn of foot to soar clear of a smart field, and it duly saw him rocket to ante-post favouritism for the Derby. With more to come this season, and with Frankie Dettori now in the saddle, Ed Walker's colt is a major contender.

4. Gold Maze (David Egan/Jessica Harrington)

Still yet to get his head in front after four races, Gold Maze was unable to land any sort of blow when sixth in the Irish Derby last weekend. Jessica Harrington's son of former Derby winner Golden Horn is likely to find it tough unless he can improve significantly for his recent outing at the Curragh.

5. Highland Chief (Ben Curtis/Paul Cole)

Third in the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot as a two-year-old, Paul Cole's Highland Chief returned to the meeting 12 months later and reigned supreme in a competitive handicap. Defying top weight to win the Golden Gates Handicap at last month's Royal meeting, Highland Chief will now have to step into Group 1 company - which is going to be a tough ask - but with stamina assured he could be a lively each-way hope.

6. Kameko (Oisin Murphy/Andrew Balding)

Not out of the first two in all five of his races, Kameko ended last season with a fine win in the Group 1 Vertem Futurity Stakes at Newcastle. Well fancied for the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket last month, Andrew Balding's charge produced a career best as he downed the likes of Pinatubo and Wichita to claim classic glory, and he will now step up in trip to try and bag Epsom Derby success. Stamina isn't assured, and Epsom will ask a new question, but he oozes class and has to be a major player.

7. Khalifa Sat (Tom Marquand/Andrew Balding)

Both his career wins have come at Goodwood, with his last success coming in the above-mentioned Cocked Hat Stakes last month, and he will be aiming to confirm the form with Emissary once again. Will certainly be the second string for the Andrew Balding team, whose primary hopes rest on Kameko's shoulders, but Khalifa Sat is going the right way and is entitled to take his chance - with the booking of Tom Marquand a huge plus.

8. Max Vega (Harry Bentley/Ralph Beckett)

Impressive when winning a Group 3 race at Newmarket in October, Max Vega disappointed when sent off as second favourite for the Group 3 Classic Trial at Kempton Park last month. A fifth-placed finish showed that a lot more is needed if he is to be competitive in this company, and with the form of that race not working out since, he has plenty to prove.

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9. Mogul (Ryan Moore/Aidan O'Brien)

Bred to be very smart, but failed to build on a Leopardstown Group 2 victory when well beaten by Kameko in the Vertem Futurity Trophy at Newcastle in November. He was sent off as an odds-on favourite for the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot last month, but failed to show any spark when finishing fourth behind Pyledriver. Despite that disappointing defeat, Mogul is still held in high regard by the Aidan O'Brien's team, and he has to be respected as the choice of Ryan Moore. 

10. Mohican Heights (Andrea Atzeni/David Simcock)

An unbeaten juvenile, who ended a two-year-old campaign with a victory in listed company at Salisbury. Sent off a 4/1 chance for the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot on his first start as a three-year-old, David Simock's charge could only finish third behind Pyledriver, but was ahead of Mogul in that Group 2 event. Still open to improvement, Mohican Heights is an interesting contender at a double-figure price.

11. Mythical (James Doyle/Aidan O'Brien)

With only one win in five career starts, Mythical looks to face an uphill task now sent to the Epsom Derby by Aidan O'Brien. He was last seen flopping in a Group 3 contest at the Curragh in June, and while he is sure to improve for that outing, he could well be one of the pacemakers for the Ballydoyle team here - though he has a top partner booked in James Doyle.

12. Pyledriver (Martin Dwyer/William Muir)

A listed winner as a juvenile, Pyledriver ended his two-year-old season in disappointing fashion as he was last of seven in the Royal Lodge Stakes. However, he has blossomed this season as a three-year-old and having finished second in the Classic Trial at Kempton, he then went on to cause a shock in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot. More improvement is needed here, but William Muir's colt has a likeable attitude and is one of the more intriguing runners taking their chance under a Derby-winning jockey.

13. Russian Emperor (Seamie Heffernan/Aidan O'Brien)

Propelled into the Epsom Derby picture when finishing second in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at the start of this season, Russian Emperor then enhanced his reputation when getting the better of First Receiver in the Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot last month. A step up in trip for the Derby should see him improve further and although Ryan Moore has opted to ride Mogul, it's interesting that Seamie Heffernan has chosen to come over for the ride. 

14. Serpentine (Emmet McNamara/Aidan O'Brien)

Having only broken his maiden tag last Saturday at the Curragh, Serpentine will be rocketed up the class ladder this weekend as he take his chance in the Epsom Derby, and is yet another shot fired by the O'Brien gun. On the face of it he should lack the ability to feature prominently, but he's regally bred and O'Brien wouldn't send him over if he didn't feel he could hold his own.

15. Vatican City (Padraig Beggy/Aidan O'Brien)

After a mediocre juvenile season, Vatican City was relatively unfancied in the Irish 2000 Guineas, but the Aidan O'Brien-trained colt produced a fine performance to finish a staying on second behind the classy Siskin in the Irish classic, and he will now step up in trip to have a crack at the Epsom Derby. Still lightly-raced, with only three runs on his CV, Vatican City could enjoy the step up in trip and can prove to be a huge player in a fascinating renewal - with the booking of a Derby-winning jockey in Padraig Beggy an eye-catching decision.

16. Worthily (Martin Harley/John Gosden)

Made a belated debut last month at Newbury, where he was an impressive two-length winner. Now given a huge task on his second outing, the John Gosden-trained colt is sure to improve for his Newbury exertions, but the jury is out on whether he can produce the qualities needed to bag Group 1 glory on his second career start.

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