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Eleven top trivia tips for the Investec Derby

29 May 2018

Why backing the horse to break from stall ten has paid dividends - and will Roaring Lion become a rare grey winner?

Padraig Beggy and Wings Of Eagles return after winning the Investec Derby last year. Picture: Racingfotos.com

Want to impress your family and friends with the inside track on the great Epsom Classic? Here’s 11 trivia titbits to help.

1. TEN OUT OF TEN

Cannot be bothered to study the form? You may prefer to take a shortcut and simply back the horse 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 £110. Two years ago you would have got your cash back had you supported Jack Hobbs (second) each-way. Twelve months ago, Capri was sixth before going on to land the Irish Derby and St Leger.

2. RUNNING IN THE FAMILY

Forty-six winners have been sired by Derby winners. There is a chance of that increasing this year because Galileo, Sea The Stars and New Approach look like being represented.

3. UNBEATABLE WARRIOR?

Nine Derby winners retired unbeaten – the last being Lammtarra (four races) in 1995. The only horse with an unblemished record in this year’s field is Saxon Warrior, the odds-on favourite, who has won each of his four races.

4. 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, no horse has sired more than four Derby winners. Galileo will equal the feat if Delano Roosevelt, Kew Gardens or The Pentagon triumphs.

5. LION TO ROAR FOR GREYS?

Roaring Lion would be an exceptionally rare grey winner. Only four of that colour have triumphed – the last being Airborne in 1946. The other winners have consisted of 175 bay or brown; 58 chestnut and two black.

6. 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.

7. MING NOT SO MERCILESS

Saxon Warrior is odds-on to win on Saturday, a far cry from 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.

8. FAST WORK

Workforce is the fastest Derby winner. He scorched home in 2min 31.33sec in 2010, in the process giving Sir Michael Stoute a fifth winner of the race.

9. ALPHABET SOUP

Zabriskie will make history if successful because no horse whose name has begun with a Z has won in the race’s 239-year history. No U or X runners have won, either, and that sequence is going to roll on.

10. BLINKERED VIEW

No Derby winner has worn blinkers since Aboyeur in 1913 – and he was only awarded the spoils when the stewards disqualified Craganour for “bumping and boring”. Keep that in mind should any horse wear headgear on Saturday.

11. GIRL POWER

No filly has take part since Cape Verdi, who was ninth in 1998 after routing her rivals in the 1000 Guineas, and that sequence will continue. Twelve months ago Diore Lia, a 1,000-1 chance, was set to run but she was withdrawn on the day of the race.