Irish Derby Preview: Go safe with Santiago

Santiago tops the market for the Irish Derby following his Royal Ascot success.
Santiago tops the market for the Irish Derby following his Royal Ascot success.

Joe Tuffin takes a look at Saturday's Irish Derby, a tricky puzzle filled with unexposed sorts, and picks out his best bet...

After a delayed start to the Flat season, we now have a wealth of riches when it comes to high class Group 1 races. The need to fit two months' worth of racing into a condensed calendar means we have the enjoyment of a Group 1 race virtually every weekend, and this week it’s the turn of the highly prestigious Irish Derby.

The €1.5 million jewel in the Irish classic crown has been won by the likes of Camelot, Galileo, Sindar and Nijinksy in its long and illustrious life, and there is a whole host of exciting colts bidding to etch their name into the history books, and unsurprisingly, Aidan O’Brien is responsible for the vast majority of the entrants - with 10 of the 19-strong field coming from his yard at the time of writing.

Since the turn of the millennium, the master of Ballydoyle has saddled 12 winners in the race, including an unprecedented streak of seven consecutive winners between 2006 and 2012. His ten-pronged assault on the Curragh is spearheaded by Royal Ascot winner Santiago, with the son of Authorized bidding to complete a quick turn-around after last week's success.

He showed versatility to be a real quality of his when taking the step up from a mile to a mile and three quarters in the Group 2 Queen's Vase, duly waltzing away with a two-and-three-quarter length success. Admittedly, it is unusual to see horses drop down in trip for the Derby, but the manner of his victory at Ascot suggested that a mile and a half is well within his remit, as he showcased a perfect blend of speed and stamina at Ascot.

The St Leger may prove to be his ultimate target this term - having already proved himself over the distance - but for now there aren't too many question marks over his raw speed dropped back in trip here, and he looks a nice price at around the 11/4 mark to bag a classic success.

O’Brien's second fancy, and also the second favourite in the market at the time of writing, is Arthur's Kingdom, a horse with a serious case of 'seconditis'. He has left the racecourse on four out of his five outings to date with a silver medal - recording only one win in a Gowran maiden over a mile last October - but is clearly not short on ability. He finished his two-year-old season with a second in the Group 1 Criterium de Saint-Cloud, a race which historically produces some fine horses such as last season's Arc hero (or villain depending on your admiration of Enable), Waldgeist.

Admittedly, the form of last year's renewal hasn't worked out brilliantly well, with the winner disappointing subsequently, but Arthur's Kingdom's effort to finish second behind Pyledriver in last week's King Edward VII Stakes was admirable. However, he was ultimately beaten by a relatively unfancied 20/1 chance for the Epsom Derby next weekend, and for that reason, it’s fairly difficult to side with the O’Brien second string.

Being his father's son, Joseph O’Brien isn’t short of a strong hand or two, either, sending both the unbeaten Crossfirehurricane and the interesting Galileo Chrome, who is a double-figure price at the time of writing. 

The former is yet to taste defeat in four career starts, recording wins at both Listed level and most recently at Group 3 level over 10 furlongs here earlier this month, when defeating each of Gold Maze, Sherpa and Mythical - who all reoppose here. There was plenty to like about that latest success, most notably how he picked up from the back to win under hands and heels, suggesting the extra two-furlongs will be no issue to overcome. He should confirm the form with the aforementioned trio as a consequence, but he has something to prove now stepped up into Group 1 company. 

Meanwhile, Joseph O’Brien’s other challenger, Galileo Chrome, has two career starts under his belt and made a winning reappearance in a modest-looking maiden at the Curragh earlier this month. This is a big hike in class and looks to be too much of an ask at this stage of his career for him to seriously make an impact.

You have to go down to the fourth horse in the market to find a runner which isn't trained by an O’Brien, but the Jim Bolger-trained Fiscal Rules makes some each-way appeal at the time of writing. The twice-raced maiden was last seen finishing a commendable fifth in the Irish 2000 Guineas, picking up nicely and running through the line as opposed to hitting it. He was caught for speed once the chips went down that day, but he shaped as though this step up in trip will suit, and he could well slip under the radar against some more exposed rivals. 

Ger Lyons is looking to record a second classic success on the bounce (and indeed ever) following Siskin’s Irish 2000 Guineas success, and he sends an outsider in Chiricahua, another twice-raced maiden who's finished second on both of his starts to date. It could be argued that the son of Camelot was slightly unlucky not have tasted victory last time out, too, having endured a troubled passage, but that form has since been knocked - with the winner Nobel Prize finishing fifth behind Santiago at Royal Ascot earlier this month, and he's passed over.

In summary, there are several lurking in here that are open to improvement, but it is difficult to knock Santiago, who has proven speed and stamina, as well as pattern success already to his name, and he's fancied to take the drop back to a mile and a half in his stride. 


Irish Derby - 19:15 Curragh, Saturday 27th June - back Santiago at 3/1

Irish Derby
Santiago silk



He was an impressive winner of the Group 2 Queens Vase at Royal Ascot and showed the perfect blend of speed and stamina. Although it's unsual to see a horse drop back for the Derby, he doesn't look like he'd be caught for speed and could well make it two Group wins in quick succession with a win in this race.

Epsom Derby Odds
Advert Disclaimer is a free online resource which endeavour to provide helpful and useful content and odds comparison to its visitors. Please be advised that accepts affiliate commission from the companies appearing on the site, and agreed commission levels impact the location and order in which the companies (and/or their products) are presented on the website. Any ratings that appear on this site is determined by our subjective opinion of the brand but also based on market share and reputation, each brand's conversion rates, commission paid to us and general consumer interest. Company listings on this page don't imply our endorsement. We do not feature all providers on the market. Except as expressly set forth in our terms and conditions, all statements and warranties regarding the information presented on this page are disclaimed. The information, including odds, which appear on this site is subject to change at any time.
Bet £10 Get £20 + £10 Casino Bonus
#AD New UK customers (Excluding NI) only. Mobile Exclusive. £30 in FREE Bets (FB) as £20 in sports bets & a £10 casino bonus (CB). Min Deposit £10. Min stake £10. Min odds Evs. FB applied on 1st settlement of any qualifying bet. FB 7-day expiry. 1 FB offer per customer, household & IP address only. Account & Payment restrictions. 14 days to accept £10 CB, then active for 3 days. CB 5x wagering & max redeemable £100. Game restrictions apply. Cashed out/Free Bets won’t apply. 30 days to qualify. 18+ T&Cs apply.
Money Back As A Bonus Up To £40 If Your First Racing Bet Loses + £10 casino
AD 18+ New customers only. Min deposit £10. Money back as bonus if first bet loses. Wagering requirements: sportsbook 3x at min. odds of 1.40 (2/5), casino 50x. Unless forfeited the sportsbook bonus must be wagered before using the casino bonus. Bonus expires 7 days after opt-in. No deposit required for NI customers. Call 08081699314 to claim. Full T&Cs apply.
Bet £10 get £30 in Free Bets
#AD T&Cs apply. New customers, Deposit & Place a Bet within 7 days, and settle a £10 minimum bet at odds of 4/5 (1.8) or greater, to be credited with 3x £10 free bets: 1 x £10 Horse racing, 1 x £10 Free Bet Builder and 1 x £10 Football. Stake not returned. Opt-in required. 18+
Welcome Offer
#AD New Customers only. Bet £10 & Get £30 in Free Bets. Sign up, deposit between £5 and £10 to your account and bet365 will give you three times that value in Free Bets when you place qualifying bets to the same value and they are settled. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits. Min odds/bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. T&Cs, time limits & exclusions apply.
Bet £20 & Get it Back As CASH If It Loses
#AD New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any market at odds of min 2.0 (EVS) and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using cards will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.. Please Gamble Responsibly.
Bet £5 Get £20 In Free Bets
#AD New Customer offer. Place a min £5 bet on the Sportsbook on odds of min 1/2 (1.5), get £20 in Free Bets. Rewards valid for 30 days. SMS verification required. Only deposits via cards will qualify. T&Cs apply. Please Gamble Responsibly
Bet £10 Get £30 in Free Bets
#AD 18+. Play Safe. From 00:01 on 18.10.2022. £30 bonus, credited as 3x £10 bets. New customers only. Minimum £10 stake on odds of 1/2 (1.5) or greater on sportsbook (excluding Virtual markets). Further terms apply.
Bet £10 Get £40 In Bonuses
#AD 18+ New customers only. Opt in and place a £10 bet on Horse Racing at odds of 2.00+ within 7 days of opening a new account; excludes cashed out bets. Receive 3x £10 Horse Racing Free Bets, valid on set events only at odds 2.00+. Plus, a £10 Slot Bonus, selected games, wager 20x to withdraw a max of £250. Bonuses expire in 7 days. Card payments only. T&Cs Apply. Please Gamble Responsibly.
Bet £10 Get £40 in Bonuses
#AD New 18+ UK customers only. Register with promo code WELCOME40, deposit and place 1st bet of £10+ on Sports (cumulative Evens+) within 7 days of registration. First bet must be on Sports. £30 in Free Bets and £10 in Free Spins (50x20p) credited in 10 hours of bet settlement. Free Bet stakes not included in any returns. Bonuses expire in 7 days. Payment restrictions apply. SMS verification and/or Proof of I.D and address may be required. Full T&Cs apply.
150% Casino Bonus (Up To £150)
#AD 18+  New casino accounts only. Min. £10 deposit, debit card only. Up to 50x wagering, game contributions vary, max. stake applies, 7-day expiry. Full T&Cs apply. 32Red match your first deposit amount up to £150, e.g. Deposit £100, 32Red will match up to 150% = Bonus of £150. Gamble responsibly.
Bet £10 Get £20 In Free Bets
#AD. New members. £10 min deposit & bet on sportsbook, placed & settled at 1.5 min odds within 14 days of sign-up. Win part of each-way bets only. 2 non-withdrawable £10 Free Bet Tokens: Valid for 7 days from acceptance (ex. each-way & multiple bets), stakes not returned. **Max Free Bet £10. Free Bet: non-withdrawable, use in 7 days on sportsbook only. Stake not returned. Full T&C's apply. Bet Responsibly. 18+
Bet £10 get £20 in Free Bets
#AD 18+ New members only. £10 min deposit & bet on sportsbook, placed & settled at 1.5 min odds within 14 days of sign-up. Win part of E/W bets. 2 non-withdrawable £10 Free Bet Tokens: accept in 7 days, valid for 7 days from crediting (ex. E/Ws & Multiples), stakes not returned. T&Cs apply,
Double The Odds On Any UK Horse Race!
#AD 18+ New Grosvenor registrations only, Bet must be placed using real money in combination with the Odds Boost Token, Offer applies to Sport bets only. Max stake £10. Each way bets are a max of £5 each way (£10 total). Odds Boost token expires after 60 days. T&Cs apply.
£30 Matched Free Bet if Your First Acca Loses + 50 Bonus Spins
#AD 18+ New UK customers only. £5 Min Deposit, max free bet: £30. 1st bet on a Football or Horse Racing multiple with 3+ selections. Overall odds: 3.00 (2/1) or higher. Free Bets upon settlement of the qualifying bet. Offer valid for 7 days of account registration. 50 Bonus Spins credited on placement of qualifying Acca bet.50x bonus wagering applies & weighting requirements, Bonus spins available on selected games & expires 7 days. Debit card deposits only (excl. apply). Full T&Cs apply
Bet £10, Get £30 in Free Bets
#AD 18+, New customers only. Opt in, bet £10 on any sports (odds 2.00+) in 7 days. No cash out. Get 4x£5 sports free bets for set markets (odds 2.00+), expires in 7 days. Offer valid from 10:00 UK time on 16/01/2023. Card payments only. T&Cs Apply. | Please Gamble Responsibly
Bet £25 Get £50 In Bonuses
#AD Place a qualifying £25 fixed odds bet at odds of 1/2 or greater and get £50 in bonuses 5 x £5 free fixed odds bets, 4 x free £5 spread bets + 50 free spins on Starburst. Qualifying bet cannot be placed in-play or cashed out early. T&Cs Apply. 18+
Bet £10 Get £30 in Free Bets (APP Only)
#AD New UK, IE & Malta customers only. Min £10/€10 first deposit using a Debit Card. Place a bet of £10 at min odds of 1.5 and get £10. A further £10 credited after 7 days and a further £10 credited after 14 days. 18+., T&Cs apply.
£35 Free Bet + 10 Free Spins
#AD 18+ If your account has Sportsbook losses at the end of first day's betting, get 50% refund of your losses as a Free Bet up to £35 (min 3 bets) Plus 10 Free Spins. Even if account is up, guaranteed a £5 Free Bet Plus 10 Free Spins provided you place at least 1 bet of £10 or greater at the minimum odds. T&Cs apply | New UK Customers Only |
50% Up To £50 Welcome Bonus
#AD 18+; New bettors get 50% of deposit up to £50; Once per household; Min deposit £15 (no Skrill/Neteller); Wager a total of 8 times deposit + bonus, with max qualifying bet stake equal to your initial bonus amount; Bonus expires after 60 days; Min odds of 4/5 on singles, or 2/5 per leg for acca; Some bet types excluded; See full terms.
Latest racing results
1stSong Of Success
2ndRegal Fanfare
3rdOriginal Thinker
1stKing Of Charm
2ndCheshire Dancer
3rdBravo Zulu
1stCotai Vision
3rdProfessor Tickle
View All Today's Results