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Churchill Downs Tips on May 4th - Expert tips on Kentucky Derby day

Last updated: 04 May 2024
John Eastwood 04 May 2024
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  • Alongside the Kentucky Derby, other Grade One races will also take place.
  • Key horses to look out for include Lou's Legacy, Scylla, Mindframe, Best Actor, Big Invasion, Alva Starr, Mission Of Joy, Top Conor, Legend Of Time, Hoist The Gold, Naval Crown, and Fierceness.
  • Expert Peter Fornatale's verdict for the Derby: Fierceness is likely to win, and Honor Marie can make a significant impact.
churchill downs
Churchill Downs. (Getty)

Expert tips for Churchill Downs on May 4th, as the 2024 Kentucky Derby takes place at 23:57pm (UK Time).

Along with the Kentucky Derby, a couple of other Grade One races will take place on Saturday's card at Churchill Downs. Get the Timeform US verdict on every race at Churchill Downs today, plus US resident Peter Fornatale's verdict on the main event.

Kentucky Derby Day Tips - Timeform US Tips

3:30pm - Lou's Legacy

LOU'S LEGACY will be hard to beat on these terms and looks the one to have most faith in. Evan On Earth has a jockey up with a great record here and can emerge second best. Culprit also requires scrutiny.

4:01pm - Scylla

SCYLLA clocked one of the best times in a workout a few days ago and looks to have decent prospects. Joke Sisi has a decent chance on these terms and is likely to be on the premises too. Coppa Girl also requires scrutiny.

4:30pm - Mindframe

MINDFRAME has an excellent chance at the weights and looks to have been found a good opening. Mena appeals most of the rest.

5:04pm - Best Actor

BEST ACTOR looks the clear pick at the weights and is the one they all have to beat. Oscar Eclipse hails from a yard that has been in good order for some time now and is taken for the forecast.

5:36pm - Big Invasion

BIG INVASION has a decent chance on these terms and seems the one they have to beat. Motorious is ridden by a jockey who excels on the big occasion and seems sure to go well. Cogburn shouldn't be discarded either.

6:14pm - Alva Starr

This doesn't look the deepest Group One. ALVA STARR is on a two-race winning streak and should make a bold show. Vahva clocked the fastest workout of the day within the last week and appeals most of the rest. Three Witches is another worth looking at.

6:56pm - Mission Of Joy

MISSION OF JOY has a rider in the saddle with few peers round here and looks the safest choice. Evvie Jets comes here in good form and merit of last effort was underpinned by the clock and could well emerge as best of the remainder. Heavenly Sunday also commands consideration.

7:46pm - Top Conor

TOP CONOR began his career with a win. Ran to a higher level when beaten 8 lengths in Grade 1 at Keeneland next time. Less on plate in this race than last time out. Should give backers a good run for their money.

8:40pm - Legend Of Time

LEGEND OF TIME is an interesting newcomer. Sea The Stars colt out of Kissable. Half-brother to Amandine. Looks to have decent prospects.

9:31pm - Hoist The Gold

This looks quite a soft race for a Grade 1 but last year’s runner-up HOIST THE GOLD has the form edge and can go one better without the likes of a Cody’s Wish in this lineup. Three Technique has been working well in the build up to his 2024 return, whilst Zozos can make the trifecta.

22:27pm - Naval Crown

Quite an open race with NAVAL POWER just about getting the verdict. He’s won both starts over this distance and we probably haven’t yet seen what he’s fully capable of. The two Chad Brown runners, I’m Very Busy and Program Trading, look the next pair to be concentrating on in an intriguing Grade 1.

23:57pm - Fierceness

FIERCENESS is a standout on form and will be very tough to stop as he bids to add another Grade 1 to his haul despite the wide draw. Sierra Leone goes from strength to strength and may prove next best, whilst the unbeaten Forever Young looks a formidable challenger from Japan.

Jockey John Velazquez rides Fierceness to victory during the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (Grade 1) at Santa Anita Park. (Getty)

2024 Kentucky Derby Tips - Peter Fornatale's Verdict

FIERCENESS is the fastest horse in the race and it isn’t particularly close. In a normal race, that edge would make him a heavy favourite (even money maybe?) but he’s a lot longer than that because of all the additional scrutiny we place on this race, and because of the obvious, attendant questions: can he face adversity and win? Is there anything to the “good race, bad race” pattern beyond randomness? 

I’m inclined to think he’s the most brilliant horse of his generation and that the juice you’re getting in the price more than covers the uncertainty. The draw is absolutely perfect as he is outside the other speed giving John Velazquez the options he needs. I think if he breaks cleanly, he wins.  

My top each-way selection is HONOR MARIE, who I think can pass some tired horses late at least – and could win if they go too quick early.

He was notably short of fitness for his seasonal debut and improved significantly second up, securing a good second to Catching Freedom in the Louisiana Derby. If he improves again in the third race of the form cycle, he has a chance to reverse that form and make a big impact in this race at a price. He also owns a win at Churchill Downs, which can only be seen as a positive. He’ll likely need a strong pace to do his best running, but he’s under the radar and very interesting at current odds of 33-1.


Kentucky Derby Expert Tips:

Best Bet1: Fierceness 2024 Kentucky Derby @5/2 at bet365 - 15 Units
2024 Kentucky Derby
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