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Full guide to those left in the Investec Derby

30 May 2016

Maximum field of 18 will line up in Saturday's famous race after four supplementary entries

Red Verdon was among four horses supplemented for the Investec Derby on Monday. Picture courtesy of Racingfotos.com

Who is going to win the Investec Derby on Saturday? The Epsom showpiece, the seventh race in the QIPCO British Champions Series, is always one of the sporting highlights of the summer and this year’s renewal looks tremendously open.

Wings Of Desire, Cloth Of Stars, Red Verdon and Humphrey Bogart were added to the field today. Here’s a guide to the contenders.

US ARMY RANGER

Trainer: Aidan O’Brien

General odds: 4-1

Unraced as a two-year-old but quickly making up for lost time – winning a maiden in the mud at Curragh before following up in the Chester Vase at the expense of stablemate Port Douglas, who was conceding 4lb. The Galileo colt had little to spare on latter occasion and requires more, but is open to more improvement.

WINGS OF DESIRE

Trainer: John Gosden

Odds: 4-1

Didn’t make his debut until April 13 of this year and got off the mark in a Wolverhampton maiden ten days later. Improved a big chunk to win the Dante at York last time – getting on top late on after Deauville, who finished runner-up, had got first run on him. Should be plenty more to come and nine Dante winners have gone on to triumph in the Derby in the past 30 years.

CLOTH OF STARS

Trainer: Andre Fabre

Odds: 8-1

Seeks to emulate his sire, Sea The Stars, who won the Derby in 2009. Runner-up to Robin Of Navan in Group 1 company as a two-year-old and showed he had trained on when turning the tables on that horse in the Group 2 Prix Greffulhe at Saint-Cloud last time. Usually held up and, now that he is settling better in his races, the step up to 1m4f should not pose a problem.

ULYSSES

Trainer: Sir Michael Stoute

Odds: 8-1

Would become the third Derby winner to be sired by a Derby winner (Galileo) and be out of an Oaks winner (Light Shift) following Australia and Lammtarra.  Confirmed the promise of previous two starts when easily winning a maiden at Newbury by eight lengths on latest start. Now thrown in at the deep end but heavily backed in the ante-post market and trainer seeking sixth success in the race.

DEAUVILLE

Trainer: Aidan O’Brien

Odds: 10-1

Has to enter the reckoning after being worn down late on by Wings Of Desire on his comeback in the Dante. Workforce went one better in the 2010 Derby after finishing second at York and the on breeding extra two furlongs should not pose him a problem. Pick of his two-year-old runs when was when runner-up in the Royal Lodge.

MOONLIGHT MAGIC

Trainer: Jim Bolger

Odds: 10-1

Half-brother to a 2m winner among others. Won both his starts at the backend of last season and put a disappointing return on heavy going behind him when proving too strong for Shogun and Idaho in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown last month. This tougher but deserves a chance in an open year.

MASSAAT

Trainer: Owen Burrows

Odds: 14-1

Runner-up in the Dewhurst last year and filled the same position behind Galileo Gold in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas on his return. Should stay a bit farther and three horses placed in the Guineas in the past eight years have gone on to win the Derby (Sir Percy, New Approach and Australia) but whether Massaat has the stamina to emulate them is open to question.

PORT DOUGLAS

Trainer: Aidan O’Brien

Odds: 14-1

Highlight of his two-year-old campaign was when winning the Group 2 Beresford Stakes at the Curragh and upped his game on his return in the Chester Vase when touched off by odds-on stablemate US Army Ranger. Entitled to turn tables on 4lb better terms, although the winner seems to be held in much higher regard at Ballydoyle.

HARZAND

Trainer: Dermot Weld

Odds:  20-1

Eyecatcher on his sole start last year and won a maiden by 16 lengths on his return at Cork (1m2f, heavy). Confirmed how well he copes with attritional ground when following up at the expense of Idaho in the Ballysax Stakes and it remains to be seen whether he will be so effective on a better surface.

IDAHO

Trainer: Aidan O’Brien

Odds: 20-1

Brother of dual Group 1-winning stablemate Highland Reel. Placed in the Ballysax Stakes (second to Harzand) and Derrinstown Derby Trial Stakes this year (behind Moonlight Magic and Shogun), having finished adrift of Cloth Of Stars in Group 1 company as a two-year-old. May again have to settle for a supporting role.

ALGOMETER

Trainer: David Simcock

Odds: 25-1

His dam has stamped all her stock with stamina and he looks no exception, keeping on willingly behind Midterm in the 1m2f Classic Trial at Sandown (pair clear) before going one better in the Cocked Hat Stakes in game style at Goodwood. Trainer has reservations over whether Epsom will suit and has warned that his charge would not want the ground too fast.

HUMPHREY BOGART

Trainer: Richard Hannon

Odds:  25-1

Pick of his juvenile efforts when fourth to Foundation in the Royal Lodge Stakes, but an improver this term. Split So Mi Dar and Viren’s Army at Epsom (form franked) and then got up late on in the Lingfield Derby Trial. However, High-Rise, in 1998, was the last to contest that race en route to Epsom glory.

RED VERDON

Trainer: Ed Dunlop

Odds: 25-1

Began this year with an unlucky defeat off a mark of 76 in a handicap at Doncaster. Wet one better at Chester next time, when 4lb higher, and then bolted up off an 8lb higher mark in another handicap over 1m4f at Haydock last time. That latter success persuade connections that he was worth supplementing and, for all this is much tougher, he is clearly very much on the up.

SHOGUN

Trainer: Aidan O’Brien

Odds: 25-1

One win from seven starts shows that he has his limitations. Kept on at the one pace when third in the Craven Stakes on his return before splitting Moonlight Magic and Idaho in the Derrinstown. Well down the field in the Irish 2000 Guineas latest. Others more compelling, including from his own yard.

ACROSS THE STARS

Trainer: Sir Michael Stoute

Odds: 33-1

Made the most of a straightforward task when landing a four-runner maiden on his return on the all-weather at Lingfield before upping his game and finishing third to Humphrey Bogart (beaten a length and a half). Keen sort who shaped a bit better than the bare form suggests in latter contest but plenty more needed.

BEACON ROCK

Trainer: Aidan O’Brien

Odds: 50-1

Made all in Group Three company at the Curragh (1m2f) latest, but seemed to have limits exposed when fourth to Moonlight Magic at Leopardstown on his penultimate start. Pick of his juvenile efforts when half a length third to Port Douglas in the Beresford Stakes at the Curragh.

BRAVERY

Trainer: Aidan O’Brien

Odds: 66-1

Third time lucky in a maiden at Dundalk (1m) but never looked like landing a blow when fourth in the Irish 2000 Guineas last time (beaten eight and a half lengths). Could be more to come up in trip, as he is by Galileo out of a Rainbow Quest mare.

BIODYNAMIC

Trainer: Karl Burke

Odds: 100-1

Kempton maiden winner in March. Difficult to give him much chance as he had no excuses when nine lengths fourth behind US Army Ranger and Port Douglas (gave 4lb) in the Chester Vase last time.