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2021 Epsom Derby Tips - Two outsiders to back in Epsom's famous Classic

  • We've published our guide to the 2021 Epsom Derby
  • This famous Classic takes place at Epsom on Saturday 5th June
  • Bolshoi Ballet dominates the current betting
  • Third Realm and Gear Up are our Epsom Derby tips
third realm
Third Realm (centre) will go onto the Derby after winning the trial at Lingfield. (Getty)

The eyes of racing fans and punters from around the world will be fixed on Epsom on the first Saturday in June, as another winner of the Epsom Derby will be crowned. 

While we're still a few weeks out from this year's renewal, all the major trials have been run, so I've looked through the betting and picked out my best ante-post tips.

2021 Epsom Derby Guide

2021 Epsom Derby Odds

Bolshoi Ballet5/4
John Leeper7/1
Mac Swiney8/1
Hurricane Lane9/1
Third Realm14/1

*Odds taken from William Hill on 3/6/21*

2021 Epsom Derby Tips - Aidan's Raider

Bolshoi Ballet2021 Epsom Derby FavouriteGET 5/4 HERE
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Topping the betting we find Bolshoi Ballet, who'll bid to hand Aidan O'Brien his seventh Epsom Derby win in the last ten years. Bolshoi Ballet has been super impressive on both his starts so far this season, quickening clear of decent fields to win twice over ten furlongs at Leopardstown.

Aidan O'Brien had originally planned on running High Definition at Epsom, along with Sir Lamorak and Roman Empire. However, this week, the master of Ballydoyle announced only Bolshoi Ballet will make the trip over to Epsom, and stable confidence behind their sole representative has seen Ryan Moore's mount backed into short-priced favouritism.

2021 Epsom Derby Tips - The Home Challenge

Despite recognised trials being run at Chester, Lingfield and York, the leading British contender in the betting is Mohaafeth. William Haggas' colt has won three times this season, scoring at Lingfield and a handicap at Newmarket, before destroying his rivals in the Listed Newmarket Stakes.

Hurricane Lane chased down Roman Empire and held off a spirited challenge from Megallan to claim victory in the Dante. Charlie Appleby's charge remains unbeaten after three starts, and this step up in distance is likely to suit.

John Leeper still looked very green and didn't handle the Rowley Mile all that well in the Fairway Stakes, but still had enough class to grind out his second victory of the season. This would be a hugely emotional runner for trainer Ed Dunlop, as the horse is named after his father, John Dunlop, who twice trained the winner of the Epsom Derby.

Third Realm picked up nicely to beat Adayar and Scope in the Derby Trial at Lingfield. Roger Varian's charge, who only raced once at two, has won both his starts this season, and shaped like a big improver during that victory at Lingfield.

2021 Epsom Derby Tips - Other Contenders

Mac Swiney2021 Epsom Derby ContenderGET 8/1 HERE
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Last year's Vertem Futurity Stakes winner, Mac Swiney could only finish fourth behind Bolshoi Ballet in the Derby Trial at Leopardstown. Jim Bolger, who's already won the 2000 Guineas this season, then watched his stable star make all and win the Irish version of that Classic, and he'll travel to Epsom with plenty of support.

Adayar was comfortably beaten by Third Realm when they met at Lingfield, despite going to post as the 6/5 favourite. However, he looked the type who will relish the challenge of the Derby, and if the ground came up soft his odds are sure to shorten.

Despite winning a key trial for the Derby, Youth Spirit can still be found around the 25/1 mark. Andrew Balding's stable have been in excellent form this season, and the way Youth Spirit won at Epsom suggests he wouldn't look out of place in this sort of company.

One Ruler didn't run badly in the Guineas considering it was his first run of the season. Charlie Appleby did say in the build-up to the Guineas, however, that he didn't think One Ruler was a stayer, so that might explain his lengthy price.

Gear Up (centre, back, yellow cap) is beaten into fifth behind Hurricane Lane in the Dante. (Getty)

2021 Epsom Derby Tips - Final Verdict

Third Realm E/W2021 Epsom Derby Tip 1GET 14/1 HERE
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Bolshoi Ballet will be winning Group Ones at some stage this season, but he looks more of a speedy sort to me and I'm not sure this test of stamina is something he will relish. With that in mind, 5/4 seems very short.

Mohaafeth is beautifully bred, but even he seems too short in the market for a horse who's yet to test himself above Listed level. John Leeper still has a lot of growing up to do and Hurricane Lane, while impressive in the Dante, doesn't appeal much at 6/1.

The first horse I really want to back is THIRD REALM. Roger Varian's charge started slowly in the Lingfield Derby Trial, and was forced wide turning for home. Despite that, David Egan's mount still motored to the head of affairs and Adayar - who was heavily backed and got a smoother passage through the race - never looked like passing Third Realm for a second.

Third Realm is out of a home-bred mare who's produced highly-rated runners like Ajman Princess, Ostilio and Cape Byron. He's also by a former Derby winner in Sea The Stars, so there's no doubting his pedigree. There's much more to come from Third Realm, and he appeals greatly at 14/1.
I'm also going to back GEAR UP, who's been massively overlooked at 50/1. Mark Johnston's colt made all to win a Group One in France last season, beating current favourite Bolshoi Ballet comfortably in the process.

I'm sure the plan would have been to go forward on his return in the Dante, but Ben Curtis' mount came out of the blocks really slowly and had to be rousted along early just to sit fourth. Gear Up was then the first to commit as the field tried to track down Roman Empire, and understandably faded back to fifth as Hurricane Lane and Megallan came through to fight out the finish.

Gear Up will certainly improve for that outing and if his breeding is to be believed, he'll improve again for this step up to 12 furlongs. Considering he's a proven Grade One winner and he's got a high-profile prep-run under his belt, Gear Up looks a sensible each-way bet in this most historic of races.


Third Realm and Gear Up are our ante-post selections for the 2021 Epsom Derby. 

2021 Epsom Derby Tip 1: Third Realm Each-Way @1400.0 at BetMGM - 8 Units
2021 Epsom Derby Tip 2: Gear Up Each-Way @5000.0 at PlaySugarhouse Sport - 5 Units

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