epsom derby festival 2012/
Future Looks Bright for Astrology
Aidan O'Brien's already apparently iron grip on the forthcoming Investec Derby at Epsom, on June 2, was further strengthened with a facile victory from his very promising, Astrology, who routed his three rivals in the Chester mud to land the Group 3 Stobart Barristers Dee Stakes in fine style, writes Elliot Slater.
Sent off the 11/10 favourite, and likely to be just as popular a pick in the Betfair Epsom Derby tips, the son of Galileo was bounced out of the stalls by the young Joseph O'Brien. He set out to make all the running in extremely testing ground, a surface he had never encountered on the racecourse before.
Always travelling well within himself, the Ballydoyle colt saw off the attentions of both Oxford Charlie and Kingsclere, to beat the former by an easy 11-lengths, and establish himself as a genuine candidate for consideration wherever he goes next.
Cut to 20/1 (from 33's) on Betfair for the Investec Derby, it might well be that Astrology will take his chance at Epsom, O'Brien never frightened of running a handful of horses from his yard, and giving himself as many chances as possible to win a big prize.
With the yard's Camelot a red-hot 5/4 market leader for the blue riband event, and having other potential candidates for the great race, in Imperial Monarch, Ernest Hemingway, Wrote, and Furners Green, the Irish handler really seems to have prospects of a clean sweep of this season's classics. He landed both the 1000 Guineas and 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, earlier this month.
For his part, Astrology proved to be a very decent juvenile, last term, following his debut win in a mile maiden at Leopardstown, with a rock solid third place in the Group 2 company, behind the smart Dragon Pulse. He filled the same position on the final outing of his two-year-old campaign, when a solid third to Rockinante in Newmarket's Group 3 Autumn Stakes.