epsom derby festival 2013/
Vintage Investec Derby in Prospect
The 234th running of the Investec Derby, the most famous Classic of all, has 15 contenders going forward after today's £75,000 supplementary entry and five-day confirmation stages.
Chopin, as expected, was supplemented this morning and the Andreas Wohler-trained three-year-old colt will become the first German runner if lining up on Saturday. He is a 9/1 chance with Coral, official betting partner of the Investec Derby Festival,
The winner of Britain's richest race of the year (£1,379,500) will emerge shortly after 4pm on June 1, before a huge crowd at Epsom Downs Racecourse.
Unbeaten Dawn Approach, trained by Jim Bolger (successful in the Investec Derby with the colt's sire New Approach in 2008) in Ireland and running in the Godolphin colours, is the strong favourite at 10/11 with Coral for the 2013 Investec Derby but there are plenty of likely challengers.
The most interesting is Magician (9/2), the impressive winner of the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas over a mile on Saturday (May 25) at the Curragh.
Two winners of the Irish 2,000 Guineas, founded in 1921, have gone on to win the Derby - Grundy in 1975 and Santa Claus in 1964.
The most recent attempt to capture both Classics came in 2005 when Dubawi, owned by Godolphin and trained by Saeed bin Suroor, finished third to Motivator at Epsom Downs.
Aidan O'Brien, who trains Magician, tried for the double with Saffron Walden in 1999 but the three-year-old colt could only finish seventh to Oath in the Derby.
All the above happened when there was at least a 14-day gap between the two Classics, whereas this year there is only seven days.
As well as Magician, O'Brien has five more colts in the Investec Derby, which he has won three times - with Camelot (2012), High Chaparral (2002) and Galileo (2001).
They are Battle Of Marengo (9/2), winner of his last five races, Festive Cheer (33/1), Flying The Flag (40/1), QIPCO 2000 Guineas sixth Mars (12/1) and the unbeaten Ruler Of The World (9/1).
Andre Fabre sent out Pour Moi to win the Investec Derby two years ago and France's 24-time champion trainer is hoping Ocovango (7/1), successful on all three of his starts, can emulate that victory.
Betfred Dante Stakes winner Libertarian (16/1), who would be the first Derby winner trained in the North of England since Dante in 1945 if successful, is the main British-trained hope. He is trained by Elaine Burke at Middleham in Yorkshire.
Bolger, responsible for Dawn Approach who was the impressive winner of the first British colts' Classic, the QIPCO 2000 Guineas, has also left Trading Leather (40/1)- third to Magician on Saturday - in the Investec Derby.
Bolger said this afternoon: "Trading Leather has been left in the Investec Derby as a precaution. If anything were to happen to Dawn Approach, I would run Trading Leather.
"Dawn Approach is continuing to please me and I am looking forward to running him in the Investec Derby at Epsom Downs on Saturday.
"I thought Magician's performance on Saturday was very smart."
The two other potential Irish challengers are the David Wachman-trained Galileo Rock (40/1) and the Andy Oliver-trained First Cornerstone (80/1).
Mirsaale (80/1) is the only course winner among the Investec Derby hopefuls, with the James Tate-trained colt winning the Investec Derby Trial over 10 furlongs on April 24.
Ocean Applause (500/1) is the outsider of the likely Investec Derby field after three unplaced efforts this year for trainer John Ryan.
Coral's David Stevens commented: "Dawn Approach remains odds-on favourite for the Investec Derby, but his closest challenger in the betting could turn out to be a fellow 2,000 Guineas winner in Magician, and if the latter makes a quick reappearance on Saturday, Joseph O'Brien's decision on who he rides could well determine whether Magician or Battle Of Marengo starts clear second favourite to the Godolphin colt."