Jan Vermeer: "punters have started to look beyond the favourite"PICTURE: Caroline Norris
Favourite Jan Vermeer uneasy on eve of Derby
JAN VERMEER was on the drift on the eve of the Derby after a whole host of bookmakers declared their intent to takeon the favourite for Saturday's Epsom Classic.
William Hill led the way as Jan Vermeer drifted industry-wide on Friday, with the firm offering 11-4 (from 2) at 7.20pm.
David Hood of William Hill said on Friday night: "I just think it is one of the most open Derbys in years.
"There is a lot to like about Jan Vermeer, but it wasn’t until St Nicholas Abbey was out that people really began to take note of him."
Ladbrokes followed suit and eased Jan Vermeer to 5-2 (from 2) at 7.20pm, the biggest price the firm had offered about the favourite this week.
David Williams of Ladbrokes said: "Punters have suddenly started to lookbeyond the favourite and we're keen to lay Jan Vermeer.
"Nothing has yet taken the market by the scruff of the neck and Jan Vermeer has started to drift."
Coral, the remaining member of the big three, were more circumspect about the favourite, easing him to just 9-4 (from 2), but spokesman Simon Clare predicted a further drift could materialise.
"A lot depends on stable confidence," said Clare. "At the moment it almost feels as if there is a negative vibe about him and I could see him drifting."
No single rival emerged as a definitive gamble on Friday night, but bookmakers reported money coming in for a number of rivals, including Workforce, Rewilding and Midas Touch.
Totesport spokesman George Primarolo said: "The money for Jan Vermeer seems to have dried up and it’s stablemate Midas Touch and the supplemented Rewilding that punters are more interested in."
Several bookmakers speculated that jockey choices on Rewilding, the pick of Frankie Dettori, and Workforce, who will be partnered by Oaks winner Ryan Moore, could lead to gambles as novice punters plump for the best-known riders.