Epsom Derby Tips: Stars the value play as Crown set to reign

Check out our tips for the 2022 Cazoo Derby
Check out our tips for the 2022 Cazoo Derby

A bumper field of 17 runners are set to go to post for the 2022 Cazoo Derby, which takes centre stage at Epsom Downs racecourse on Saturday afternoon, and our in-house tipster Steve Chambers has picked out his best bets for the Group 1 Classic...

One of the most impressive winners of the Dante Stakes in recent times, DESERT CROWN was entitled to be made favourite for the Derby as the manner he serenely pulled clear of his rivals in that trial event at York suggested that Sir Michael Stoute could potentially have a real star. Cruising alongside some smart performers that day under a confident Richard Kingscote, Desert Crown quickened in fine style and bounded all the way to the finish to win imperiously.

Now set to line up as the Derby favourite, the 7/4 chance will need to show he can kick on from that success now stepped up in trip, but he shaped like the mile-and-a-half trip wouldn't pose any problems whatsoever and providing he can act around Epsom then the Freemason Lodge inmate looks the one to beat. Some could argue he's a little short in a wide open Derby, but he has produced the one outstanding performance in this field and while there will be a number of leading contenders he could well just outclass his rivals and claim the coveted crown.

Aidan O'Brien will go in search of a ninth Derby success and he will saddle a three-pronged attack in this year's renewal and his first string will be the second favourite Stone Age, who showed his class last time out when winning the Derby Trial Stakes at Leopardstown. Winless as a juvenile, the Ballydoyle raider has really progressed as a three-year-old, but this will need a huge step up against superior rivals and he could be vulnerable.

Changingoftheguard (Chester Vase) and Star Of India (Dee Stakes) both recorded wins at Chester's May meeting and both line up here. The former was arguably the most impressive as he trounced a well thought of colt in the shape of New London and with stamina assured he's a huge player at 8/1, while Star Of India wasn't as impressive in his Listed win and the 16/1 chance will need to improve considerably to feature here.

Another trainer with three runners in this year's Derby is Charlie Appleby, who is bidding for his second English Classic this season and the Godolphin charge will be lead by Nations Pride, who was supplemented for the race on Monday and was last seen rocketing to an impressive win in the Listed Newmarket Stakes. He beat Hoo Ya Mal by a sparkling seven lengths in that event, but the manner he accomplished it suggested he could be very, very smart. Now available at 8/1, the Teofilo colt is bidding for a fifth win on the bounce, and with much more experience than the favourite he will look to put pressure on Desert Crown here.

Nahanni showed he can sparkle at Epsom having won the Blue Riband Trial at the track earlier in the campaign, but will need to improve considerably on that effort, but one that could outrun his double-figured odds for the Appleby team is WALK OF STARS, who was last seen finishing second in the Lingfield Derby Trial. He somewhat lost his way in the closing stages of that contest and flashed his tail which is a worry, but he was beaten by a smart horse in United Nations, and Walk Of Stars could prove to be the value play.

If any rain does hit Epsom then that shouldn't pose any problems as he has winning form on soft, and with the trip no worry whatsoever the son of Dubawi could well cause a significant stir in this year's Derby, which should be a real showpiece event of a stunning Saturday card.

Of the others, Piz Badile was a narrow winner of the Ballysax Stakes last time out, and while he needs to improve on that effort, he has been talked about glowingly in recent weeks, while the likes of Westover and Royal Patronage add significant depth to a race that can go the way of the favourite and see Walk Of Stars make the frame.

2022 Cazoo Derby
Desert Crown silk

Desert Crown

won
2022 Cazoo Derby
Walk Of Stars silk

Walk Of Stars (EW)

lost
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