Attention of the sporting world will centre around Epsom Downs on Saturday afternoon as the most coveted prize in British horse racing will be handed out as the Derby takes centre stage in what is one of the most eagerly-anticipated days in the British sporting calendar.
Inaugurated in 1780, the race has seen some of the best equine talent in history etch their name on the illustrious roll of honour and come 4:15pm on Saturday, there could well be another superstar who looks to propel into the limelight and that racing pin-up for 2013 may be Dawn Approach, who is set go off a short-priced favourite for the Classic and is already odds on with some bookmakers.
Frankel’s dominance may have taken up the column inches last season as he quickly became a household name but Jim Bolger’s Dawn Approach quietly went about his business maintaining an unbeaten record as a juvenile. However, it was his runaway success in the 2000 Guineas at the start of May that now has people wondering whether we have another potential luminary who can put the sport on the front pages again, in the same way Frankel did 12 months ago and Sea The Stars did in 2009.
Dawn Approach's annihilation of some smart prospects in that Newmarket Classic to extend his unbeaten run to seven was a notable achievement but as he steps up to 1m 4f the Derby will provide his toughest test, as he looks to emulate the achievement of his sire, New Approach, who won the Derby in 2008.
The three year old won’t have it all his own way though as Aidan O’Brien will unleash a five-pronged attack on the race as he looks to lower the colours of the favourite. A three-time winner of the Epsom Classic, the Ballydoyle Supremo is certainly a man not to underestimate but the news that he will be saddling a quintet of runners suggests that he is going for safety in numbers and doesn’t have a premier challenger.
Four years ago, O’Brien saddled six to try and topple the incomparable Sea The Stars but his challenge was foiled by John Oxx’s legend, so who will be leading the O’Brien charge this time around?
Battle Of Marengo will be the mount of the trainer's son, Joseph O’Brien, so may have the number one tag but he was rather workmanlike in his Derrinstown Stud Trial victory, whilst Mars was a disappointing sixth behind Dawn Approach in the aforementioned Guineas and will face an uphill battle to reverse that form. Ruler Of The World stormed to victory in the Chester Vase but that hardly suggests that he could knock Dawn Approach off his perch in what looks a more hopeful launch on this year’s Derby from the O’Brien camp.
It’s always a bonus to have a European challenge and this year Andre Fabre’s Ocovango will represent the French challenge and he will be aiming to emulate 2011 winner, Pour Moi, for the same trainer and nuances from his base seem positive, whilst German raider Chopin will provide another intriguing angle to the race. The English challenge will be led by shock Dante winner Libertarian in a race that could well thrust a new equine idol into the sporting world and that could well be Dawn Approach who is very much the one to beat.
For more information about the 2013 Epsom Derby visit http://epsom-derby.betting-directory.com/