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Horse Racing

Back my 18-1 tip to bash the bookies on Epsom Derby day

HAVE a bet people, have a bet. Now that’s not something you hear very often these days!

But today is Derby Day, and it’s a Derby Day like few others.

Military Order was an effortless winner of the Lingfield Derby Trial

Whether it’s the equine heat at Epsom or the intriguing all-Manchester FA Cup clash at Wembley, there have not been many better occasions to have a responsible flutter.

The beauty of today’s Betfred Derby is there is it looks wide open.

Indeed, it’s easy to make a case for the top ten horses in the market as they challenge for Epsom Classic glory in the £1.5 million mile and a half thriller.

Purists might want a hot favourite. Perhaps a horse like Mill Reef, Sea the Stars or Camelot who landed the 2,000 Guineas and then went on to Derby success.

But the make-up for this Derby is a little bit like what punters expect and love from the Grand National.

It’s a race normal backers can really get stuck into and enjoy.

In terms of public appreciation the Derby might not be the crown jewel of old, but it still remains a hugely significant race on the world stage, creating stallions that impact the industry for generations.

Added to that, it remains Britain’s richest horse race and is the most prestigious of the five Classics.

Heroes include Nijinsky, Shergar, Nashwan and the aforementioned Mill Reef and Sea the Stars, and a fabulous horse can be narrowly defeated, none more so than El Gran Senor and Dancing Brave.

I’ve never experienced a Derby before where the likely hot favourite was tailed off on his previous start.

But that’s the situation this time with Auguste Rodin, who ran a stinker in the 2,000 Guineas when beating just two home.

However, one of that pair was Little Big Bear and he hacked up in the Sandy Lane at Haydock last weekend.

Aidan O’Brien got Yeats back to win an Ascot Gold Cup on the back of a dismal effort so anything is possible.

Auguste Rodin was a brilliant juvenile and looked a monster when landing his Group 1 at Doncaster. He may win, but he’s hard to tip.

I will be backing two against the field in MILITARY ORDER and DUBAI MILE.

The former has progressed with every race for Charlie Appleby and William Buick and I liked the way he pulled away on the all-weather last time. This trip on grass will be right up his street.

Dubai Mile would have liked it to rain, so there is a doubt about him on the ground.

That said, he beat Frankie’s Derby mount Arrest in Group 1 company as a juvenile and was a fine fifth in the 2,000 Guineas.

He’s classy and owner Ahmad al Sheikh dreams about winning this race like I do of sunny beaches.

If Dubai Mile copes with the surface then he’s top each-way value.

Passenger has a great draw in seven for Richard Kingscote, who hopes to pull off a double for Sir Michael Stoute after Desert Crown last year.

Passenger was unlucky in the Dante at York but will have learnt plenty from that effort. If he lands the Derby much will be because of what Kingscote taught him at York — for all he got pelted on social media.

However I’m not sure Passenger will have the stamina — and the same applies to Dante hero The Foxes.

Of the others I suspect Waipiro will run well for Ed Walker and Tom Marquand, while Artistic Star is unbeaten and been nibbled at in the betting.

The Derby is on at 1.30 on the main ITV network before the FA Cup Final.

There is also the threat from animal rights activists, who freely admit their campaign is to end the existence of the thoroughbred.

One of their leaders said this week: “For us it’s not an animal welfare issue. I have no doubt pretty much everyone who works in the industry loves the horses.”

Yes we do. And we love the Derby. Nothing you do will change that. Yeeehaaa!

Chapper’s BOOM or bust. . .

TAKE two in the Derby at 1.30 at Epsom — MILITARY ORDER and DUBAI MILE both have what it takes to go close in the Classic.

REGAL REALITY (12.50) can get us off to a flyer in the first.