Five early tips for the Epsom Derby - Desert Crown, Piz Badile, Stone Age and more

The Epsom Derby has been labelled the “greatest turf event in the world” and Planet Sport have all you need to know on the early favourites for the Classic on June 4.

British racing is gearing up for a stellar summer of Flat action with Royal Ascot and Glorious Goodwood around the corner, but first comes the King of the Classics in the form of the Epsom Derby.

The ups and downs of getting a horse ready for the unique tests of the one mile, four furlong Group 1 Classic at Epsom are almost as undulating as the course itself.

But don't worry, Planet Sport are keeping an eye on the various trials and the markets to point you to the main contenders that will line up for the big race.

No need for a place on one of the open top buses on Epsom Downs, let Planet Sport do the work.

(All odds correct at time of article publication)

Walk Of Stars (the outsider)

Trainer: Charlie Appleby - 16/1

There is a clear conflict between the might of the Charlie Appleby Godolphin operation and the hefty odds for Walk Of Stars to take the 2022 Derby.

Few gave Appleby's Adayar a chance in last year's Derby either, sent off at a similar 16/1 but then romping to a four and half lengths win on the Downs.

The similarities with Walk Of Stars are clear, as both Adayar and Walk Of Stars finished second in the Lingfield Derby Trial.

While time will tell if Dubawi colt Walk Of Stars can live up to Frankel colt Adayar, it would be no surprise if Walk of Stars runs far better than expected and 16/1 may, once again, prove a snip.

Piz Badile (the dark horse)

Trainer: Donnacha O'Brien - 10/1

Six foot tall ex-jockey Donnacha O'Brien has a lofty racing bloodline and plenty of high hopes for his Derby entry Piz Badile, named after the mountain in the Alps.

A win in the Ballysax at Leopardstown was enough for the son of Aidan O'Brien to send Ulysses colt Piz Badile straight to Epsom.

Piz Badile

The three-year-old showed real battling qualities to see off fellow Derby entrant Buckaroo by a short head. The fact that Buckaroo was trained by his brother Patrick made it all the sweeter.

O'Brien, who won the 2000 Guineas as a jockey, knows what it takes to win Classics and he has hailed the Niarchos family-owned Piz Badile as having "all the right attributes".

That sort of talk should be taken seriously and Piz Badile has the profile to outrun the 10/1, especially with Frankie Dettori booked to ride.

Changingoftheguard (the speedy second string)

Trainer: Aidan O'Brien - 8/1

Talk about a changing of the guard as early Derby favourite Luxembourg was ruled out of the Epsom Classic after suffering a set-back.

Now Changingoftheguard, who runs in the same maroon and blue silks as Luxembourg, comes into the reckoning for Aidan O'Brien.

The Galileo colt absolutely nailed the Chester Vase, beating Charlie Appleby's fellow Derby entry New London by a full six and half lengths on the Roodee.

Bookies reacted by slashing Changingoftheguard to 8/1 from 50/1 for the Derby.

A normally reserved O'Brien cooed about the performance, saying "we were delighted with the run and I think off the back of that, you'd have to say he'd go to Epsom now."

Stone Age may have stolen a bit of Changingoftheguard's thunder but the three-year-old remains an intriguing sort at a healthy price for Derby glory.

Stone Age (solid as a rock)

Trainer: Aidan O'Brien - 5/2

Such is the wealth of talent at Ballydoyle, that it is perfectly possible for a horse to come from virtually nowhere to snare a big slice of the Derby market, and that has happened with Stone Age.

Making all the running in the Leopardstown Derby Trial Stakes, Stone Age looked every inch a potential Derby winner as he powered home for a five and a half lengths win in Ireland.

The manner of the victory was seriously impressive, particularly in the light of Luxembourg being ruled out. Indeed, bookies cut Stone Age from 12/1 to 7/2 for the Blue Riband at Epsom on June 4.

While O'Brien has several very decent entries for the 2022 Derby including Star Of India, United Nations and Changingoftheguard, Stone Age looks the serious Irish horse to do the damage round Tattenham Corner on the day.

Desert Crown (the hot favourite)

Trainer: Sir Michael Stoute - 2/1 favourite

There was plenty of tension as Desert Crown set off in the Dante at York in early May.

Ante-post backers wanted confirmation that Sir Michael Stoute's Desert Crown was a proper Derby horse and boy did they get it as he swept to a three and a quarter length win on the Knavesmire.

The winner of only a Nottingham maiden before the Dante, Desert Crown recovered from a winter setback to beat co-Derby entries Royal Patronage and Bluegrass into second and third.

Desert Crown's Dante dance was a pleasing sight for five times Derby winning trainer Sir Michael Stoute who has struggled for world-class performers of late.

"What he showed me there was very encouraging. Other than Workforce all my Dante horses had had a previous race early in the season so that was very encouraging" said Stoute, not known for his exaggeration.

There's no doubt Desert Crown is a serious horse and a worthy favourite to go down a storm on the Epsom Downs.

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