The first part of the flat season fell victim to the coronavirus pandemic with the 1000 and 2000 Guineas being cancelled, however the likelihood is that Horseracing will manage to mobilise behind closed doors when given the go-ahead in the coming weeks. Nevertheless what impact this has on the classics remains to be seen.
The Derby is scheduled to take place on Saturday 6th June although the massive crowds which always descend on Epsom Racecourse will surely be absent this time around. As such, the question being asked is whether it is feasible to hold the race in front of empty stands and terraces is feasible.
The BHA may look at delaying the meeting to later in the summer months when mass gatherings might be allowed, however as things stand there’s no hint as to when this will actually be.
All that we can hope for is that the world-famous Derby can go ahead in some form or other, even if there are no crowds or it is held later in the summer.
We’re working on the assumption that it is going ahead and as such, we’ll be looking for some value on the most prestigious flat race on the circuit.
Clearly the first place to look is champion two-year-old Pinatubo. This runner is current Derby favourite at odds of 7/1 although the evidence hints that he won’t last the trip. His running style suggests that he will be too quick for this race and we would argue that he would be better aimed at a 6f rather than a 12f race. The Godolfin colt is all about speed and as such, making a step up to a 12f is almost certainly a step too far at this stage of his career.
Pinatubo would have been aimed at the 2000 Guineas which had been scheduled to take place earlier this month although while he currently tops the betting market for the 2020, the fact that he will likely not stay the trip creates value elsewhere in the famous race.
The runner which has grabbed our attention is Military March (Best price 12/1 with William Hill Bookmakers), this in our opinion being the best chance for Godolphin in the 2020 Derby. Unlike Pinatubo, this runner has been bred for this sort of trip – indeed he is son of 2008 winner New Approach – and his dam, Punctilious, won the Ribblesdale, came second in the Irish Oaks and third in the Epsom Oaks.
Military March will doubtless relish the 1m 4f of the Derby and when he impressed over 7f in his debut run there was plenty to get excited about. We expect him to create plenty in the way of excitement in the 2020 Derby, whenever it actually takes place!