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Top ten trivia for the 2017 Investec Derby

1 Jun 2017

Impress your family and friends with the inside track on the great Epsom Classic.

Ruler Of The World kept up the fine record of horses drawn in stall ten of the Investec Derby. Picture: Racingfotos.com

Want to impress your family and friends with the inside track on the great Epsom Classic? Here’s ten trivia titbits to help.

1. TEN OUT OF TEN
With plenty of runners to try and sift through this year, you may prefer to take a shortcut and simply back Capri, who is drawn in stall ten. Had you adopted a policy of cheering for the horse in stall ten since 1986 you would have cheered home Shahrastani (11-2), Reference Point (6-4), Nashwan (5-4), Quest For Fame (7-1), Generous (9-1), Galileo (11-4), Sir Percy (6-1) and Ruler Of The World (7-1). In 2012 there were only nine runners, so a level £10 stake on all stall ten runners in the past 30 years would have reaped a profit of about £120. Two years ago you would have got your cash back had you supported Jack Hobbs (second) each-way and, 12 months ago, it was a case of close, but no cigar: the winner, Harzand, was drawn in stall nine.

2. THE FAB FOUR
Not The Beatles but the quartet who, since the post-war era, have won the Derby after being unraced as two-year-olds. Benbatl, Dubai Thunder and Diore Lia, who did not run as juveniles, will attempt to follow the example of Phil Drake (1955), Morston (1973), Commander In Chief (1993) and Ruler Of The World (2013).

3. RUNNING IN THE FAMILY
Forty-five winners have been sired by Derby winners. There is a good chance of that increasing this year because Galileo, High Chaparral and Pour Moi look like being represented.

4. UNBEATABLE
Nine Derby winners retired unbeaten – the last being Lammtarra (four races) in 1995. The only horses with unblemished records in this year’s field are Cracksman and Dubai Thunder.

5. ELUSIVE DOUBLE
Galileo might be the Daddy of all sires but he has yet to father the winner of the Oaks and Derby in the same year. He has multiple chances of putting that straight this year. The last sire to pull off the double was Sadler’s Wells in 2001 via Imagine in the Oaks and, yes, you’ve guessed it, Galileo in the Derby. Incidentally, should Galileo pull off the double he will be on course to make history and become the first sire to father all five British Classic winners in one season. Churchill, the QIPCO 2,000 Guineas winner, and Winter, the QIPCO 1,000 Guineas heroine, were his progeny.

6. GREY DAY?
Capri would be an exceptionally rare grey winner. Only four of that colour have triumphed – the last being Airborne in 1946. The others have consisted of 174 bay or brown; 58 chestnut and two black.

7. YARDS APART
When someone tells you ‘they have to stay every yard of the mile and a half trip” you can smugly answer “plus the extra ten yards”. That is the quirky distance of the Derby – a mile and a half, and ten yards. The extra distance made a huge difference in 2006 when Sir Percy got up in the final stride to prevail by a short head after a photo-finish involving four runners.

8. MING NOT SO MERCILESS
The bookmakers are going 4-1 the field this year, reflecting the open nature of the race. However, it is nowhere near so unpredictable as in 1951 when Ki Ming was sent off the 9-1 favourite. He finished twelfth in a field of 33. The safety limit these days is 20.

9. STOP THE CLOCK
Workforce is the fastest Derby winner of all time. He scorched home in 2min 31.33sec in 2010, in the process giving Sir Michael Stoute a fifth winner of the race. Aidan O’Brien has since caught him up.

10. GIRL POWER
Diore Lia will become the first filly to take part in the race since Cape Verdi, who was ninth in 1998. Cape Verdi took her chance after routing her rivals in the 1000 Guineas but Diore Lia’s claims are far less obvious after two heavy defeats in maidens. She is 1,000-1 to win and long odds-on with the bookmakers to finish last.