2022 Cazoo Derby – Big Race Tips and Betting Preview

After the fillies had their chance to shine in the sun at Epsom on Friday, it is the time for the boys to take centre stage at the Surrey track on Saturday when the Cazoo Derby takes the eyes of the racing world.

Unlike on Friday where there was a more select field for the Oaks, we have 17 runners due to go to post for this showpiece occasion and once again we have a pretty open betting heat. We’re strong on one fancy though as you’ll see in the preview below.

4.30 Epsom: Cazoo Derby


The biggest race of the flat season sees a big field of 17 line up in yet another very open renewal of the Epsom Derby over the undulations of the mile and a half track.   I’ll start by mentioning the draw & although Adayar bucked the stall 1 trend when winning last year, the small field size probably masked how important a middle draw is in this race.  In the last 10 runnings of this race with a field of 12 runners or more, 29 of the 30 placed horses have been drawn in stall 5 or higher.  What’s more, the 10 winners have all been drawn in stall 7 or higher but none have exited from the top 2 stalls.  I’m not sure what to make of the ‘top 2 stalls’ stat but I will be noting the low drawn negative which will rule out some of the more fancied runners here.


Furthermore, the last 6 favourites have all been beaten & none of the last 4 have even made the top 3 which is a huge negative for current market leader Desert Crown.  He’s won both his career starts including the Dante most recently but he’s still inexperienced & personally, it didn’t look a great renewal of that trial.  He cannot be dismissed as he’s trained by a master in Sir Michael Stoute but it’s a lot of pressure on jockey Richard Kingscote for his biggest ever ride.   Aiden O’Brien has 3 in the race & Moore’s choice is Stone Age who is 2 from 2 this year.  He won the Derby Trial at Leopardstown & looked impressive but there’s a lot of pace on here so it will be difficult to dominate.  His draw in 4 is a negative.

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AOB also saddles Changingoftheguard & Star Of India, both of whom won their trials at Chester.  The former perhaps has better claims on the formbook & did win over this trip but is another front runner who may not be as suited to the shape of the race here.   Charlie Appleby saddles 3 including Nations Pride who has been supplemented for this.  He’s won his last 4 and hasn’t really been extended & whilst visually impressive, this is a different ball game.  I have my doubts & a draw in 5 doesn’t help on that front.  Walk Of Stars bids to give James Doyle his 3rd Classic of the season & he was well fancied when favourite for the Lingfield Derby Trial but could only manage 2nd & didn’t look totally at home on the track which doesn’t inspire confidence around here.   19 of the last 20 winners have all been in the first 8 in the market so, aside from my selection (which I’ll get to), it’s hard to give a really solid chance to any of the others.


In a race held in memory of the late great Lester Piggott, it would be fitting for arguably the biggest name & character in the sport in Frankie Dettori to land the prize & that’s where I’m putting my faith today.  After being so unlucky in the Oaks yesterday aboard Emily Upjohn, he has a superb chance of compensation riding Piz Badile today.  He committed to Donnacha O’Brien’s horse a few weeks ago which is noteworthy as he arguably would have got second choice for Aiden O’Brien, but it’s easy to see why.  He’s had 3 career starts to date & is 2 from 3 but should probably have won all 3.  He was narrowly edged out in a Group 3 at the end of last season when having his backend taken away close to the line & that meant his only defeat, albeit just half a length behind Duke De Sessa who was 5th in the Irish 2000 Guineas.   On reappearance, he won the Ballysax, a race won by Harzand en route to victory here in 2016.  That day he beat subsequent winner Buckaroo in a close finish & was 3 lengths clear of Duke De Sessa.

Interestingly, he was just over 5 lengths in front of Bluegrass who was exactly the same distance behind today’s favourite Desert Crown in the Dante.  If you take that form literally, there’s nothing between the favourite and my selection.  What’s been impressive in the selection’s career is his smooth travelling style, his race speed & his turn of foot.  Not just that, he has superb battling qualities & has been headed but came back to win in his 2 victories to date.  There’s a lot of guesswork in the Derby as true formlines aren’t fully established but I feel we have a combination of form & potential with this one.  Frankie is untroubled by any stamina concerns & that’s good enough for me so at a double figure price, from a good drawn in stall 7, he’s the one for me.


Back Piz Badile (e/w) for a 1.5/10 stake at 11.00 Betway BOG (⅕ odds 1-5)

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Author: Martha Chavez