Epsom Derby Tips: Vatican City profile

Vatican City is one of seven entries in the race for Aidan O'Brien.
Vatican City is one of seven entries in the race for Aidan O'Brien.

Nick Seddon profiles Vatican City, who is a lively outsider for the Epsom Derby on Saturday July 4...

Vatican City

  • Trainer: Aidan O'Brien
  • Age: 3
  • Owner: Mrs John Magnier & Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith
  • Races: 3
  • Wins: 1
  • Stall: 8
  • Jockey: Padraig Beggy

Career Record

Vatican City is bred to be smart (by Galileo and brother to five Group winners, including Gleneagles), and Aidan O'Brien took his time with the colt, introducing him in a seven furlong maiden at Newmarket last October, in which he was a well beaten fifth behind Kinross - who would go on to take his chance in the Group 1 Futurity Trophy at Newcastle. Vatican City was quickly turned back out, and got off the mark over the same trip at the end of that month at Dundalk, justifying odds-on favouritism to win comfortably. 

We didn't see Vatican City again until last month's Irish 2000 Guineas, for which he was a 14/1 chance, but he overcame his relative inexperience to run with plenty of credit under Padraig Beggy, making plenty of late ground to grab second in the closing stages behind Siskin. It's interesting to see Vatican City sent here to keep the same kind of company, and he rates as a lively outsider if handling the extra half a mile. 

The three-year-old looks as though he is Aidan O'Brien's third string, and it's interesting to see the Derby-winning jockey Padraig Beggy handed the ride.


Bred in the purple: Vatican City is certainly bred to be smart, and his full siblings include the 2000 Guineas winner Gleneagles and the multiple Group-winning filly Magical. He caught the eye with his effort at the Curragh last time out and more than deserves to take his chance here.

Unexposed: While Vatican City doesn't have as much experience as the vast majority of the field, he's clearly smart, and has already run to a high level. The combination of a potentially fast-run race and the undulations of Epsom offer an opportunity for him to improve, and judged on his pedigree, he could well have more to offer yet.


Distance: Vatican City is the son of a Derby winner in Galileo, so he should stay the extra four furlongs, though his pedigree suggests that he could be at his best at a mile and a quarter, and a particularly stamina-sapping affair may test him at such an early stage in his career.

Substance of form: Vatican City's effort to finish second behind Siskin last month was an excellent one, though that race was a messy one, and he will need to back up that form here.

How will Vatican City fare in the 2020 Epsom Derby?

It's fascinating to see Vatican City sit so prominently in the market, suggesting that there should be more to come from him yet at this trip. He's certainly bred to be very smart, and although there are niggling concerns that he may prove at his best over a mile and a quarter in time, he should stay the trip. It will be interesting to see which of the Ballydoyle battalion opt to ride Vatican City, and he rates as an each-way chance at the very least.

Verdict: Each-way fancy

Epsom Derby
Vatican City silk

Vatican City (EW)

Epsom Derby Tips

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