Epsom Derby: Pinstickers' guide to the runners and riders

Tattenham Corner

Epsom Derby

Epsom Downs racecourse
Saturday 1 June
Race time:
16:00 BST
Commentaries on BBC Radio 5 live and BBC Sport website

Frank Keogh's verdict: 1 Dawn Approach 2 Chopin 3 Flying The Flag

Stamina seems to be the only concern about Dawn Approach and he should have too much class for this field. The first German runner, Chopin, is a lively contender, while I'm taking a huge chance that outsider Flying The Flag might shine over a longer distance and sneak a place.

(number, form, horse's name, trainer, jockey, draw)

1) 3111-11 BATTLE OF MARENGO (IRE) Aidan O'Brien IRE/Joseph O'Brien 9

Won last five races and a son of 2001 Derby winner Galileo, like many of the top colts from the powerful Coolmore Stud racing operation which bankrolls top Irish trainer Aidan O'Brien. The mount of his son Joseph, who triumphed on Camelot last year, which may indicate he is considered the stable's leading contender from five runners.

Rating: 7/10 Approximate odds: 6-1

2) 211 CHOPIN (GER) Andreas Wohler GER/Jamie Spencer 4

First German runner in what is the 234th running of the famous one-and-a-half mile Classic. Sold to the emerging powerhouse of Qatar Racing, headed by 24-year-old Sheikh Fahad al Thani, shortly after an impressive eight-length victory in April. Trainer calls Epsom "the Derby of Derbies" and the team appear confident of a bold showing.

Rating: 8/10 Approximate odds: 12-1

3) 111111-1 DAWN APPROACH (IRE) Jim Bolger IRE/Kevin Manning 7

Brilliant unbeaten son of 2008 Derby winner New Approach and grandson of the 2001 victor Galileo, goes for an eighth victory of his career after landing the 2,000 Guineas in May. Bred by his shrewd Irish trainer, who retains a 49% share in the horse, with the remainder owned by the Godolphin team. Sheikh Mohammed's outfit has been rocked by a doping scandal after 22 of its horses, formerly trained by the now disgraced Mahmood Al Zarooni, were found to have been given banned anabolic steroids.

Rating: 9/10 Approximate odds: 6-4

4) 5(1)-3 FESTIVE CHEER (FR) Aidan O'Brien IRE/Seamie Heffernan 2

Thought by many to be one of the two outsiders, along with Flying The Flag, of the five Aidan O'Brien runners, although he has produced big-priced horses to finish in the first three before. Jockey has been second in the Derby twice - on Fame and Glory (2009) and At First Sight (2010). Born on 23 January 2010, Festive Cheer is the youngest of the three-year-olds in the Derby.

Rating: 6/10 Approximate odds: 20-1

5) 120-06 FLYING THE FLAG (IRE) Aidan O'Brien IRE/Colm O'Donoghue 8

Another son of Galileo, his dam (or mother) Halfway to Heaven won three Group One races and looks to have the breeding to cope with this test. That pedigree has not quite manifested itself into outstanding form, winning only one of his five starts so far. However, jockey nearly stole the 2011 race from the front on runner-up Treasure Beach, before being reeled in on the line by Pour Moi.

Rating: 7/10 Approximate odds: 150-1

6) 15-3 GALILEO ROCK (IRE) David Wachman IRE/Wayne Lordan 11

Bearing the name of his illustrious equine father, who provided trainer with his first Epsom Derby winner 12 years ago. Bred by owner Michael O'Flynn, a wealthy Irish property developer who is a big fan of Manchester United. Galileo Rock won on his debut by seven lengths, but was fifth and third on his subsequent starts.

Rating: 6/10 Approximate odds: 33-1

7) 141 LIBERTARIAN Elaine Burke/William Buick 5

One of the more likely outsiders, who was a surprise 33-1 winner of York's Dante Stakes, which has been a good guide to this race, and Dante was the last Derby winner to be trained in the north of England. Trainer Elaine Burke, who is based in Middleham, north Yorkshire, is aiming to become the first woman to train the victor. She has 65 horses in training, with owners including England striker Wayne Rooney.

Rating: 7/10 Approximate odds: 16-1

8) (1)-6 MARS (IRE) Aidan O'Brien IRE/Richard Hughes 12

Once ante-post favourite for the Derby following a cosy win at Dundalk in July of last year, but has become something of a forgotten horse lately. Run only once since when a staying-on sixth behind winner Dawn Approach in the 2000 Guineas over a mile at Newmarket, which hinted that the extra half-mile here might suit. Champion jockey was third on Masterofthehorse in 2009.

Rating: 8/10 Approximate odds: 14-1

9) 5130-1 MIRSAALE James Tate/Neil Callan 6

Sired by the 2006 Derby winner Sir Percy, is the only horse in the field with winning form at the track, having won the Investec Derby Trial in April. Owned by Dubai resident Saif Ali, a close friend of Sheikh Mohammed, who is also involved in camel racing in his homeland. Mirsaale is a half-brother to Meeznah, who was second in the 2010 Oaks at Epsom before being disqualified after testing positive for a banned substance.

Rating: 8/10 Approximate odds: 16-1

10) 4(6)(4)-0(0)0 OCEAN APPLAUSE John Ryan/Daragh O'Donohoe 3

The big outsider in the field, with odds of about 500-1, which would make him the longest-priced Derby winner in the race's history. However, Terimon was second at the same odds in 1989. Most experienced contender in the field, with 16 starts, but has yet to finish in the first two and was last of eight in the Derby Trial at Epsom won by Mirsaale.

Rating: 4/10 Approximate odds: 500-1

11) 1-11 OCOVANGO Andre Fabre FR/Pierre-Charles Boudot 1

Respected runner for 24-time French champion trainer Andre Fabre, who won the 2011 Derby with Pour Moi when Carlton House, owned by the Queen, was third. Undefeated in three starts in France, albeit last win came on very soft ground so the drier conditions will be a different test. First Epsom Derby ride for jockey, who had only just turned 16 when his father Marc, a trainer in central France, died of a brain tumour aged 55 in January 2008.

Rating: 6/10 Approximate odds: 8-1

12) 11 RULER OF THE WORLD (IRE) Aidan O'Brien IRE/Ryan Moore 10

Two wins from two starts, the last of which was a very good six-length victory in the Chester Vase. Bidding to become the first horse since Commander in Chief in 1993 to win the Derby having not run as a two-year-old. Three-time champion jockey has been placed in the last three runnings of the race - winning on Workforce in 2010, before coming third on Carlton House and Astrology.

Rating: 7/10 Approximate odds: 8-1

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