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Capri slashed to as short as 9-1 for Derby as the rain comes down

Capri and Ryan Moore (right) take the Group 2 Juddmonte Beresford Stakes at the Curragh last September
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Punters have latched on to Aidan O'Brien's Derrinstown Stud Trial Stakes third Capri as they seek to solve an Investec Derby that could be contested by a first maximum field of 20 since 2003 after Khalidi joined Permian on the supplementary entry list.

Capri, 25-1 in a place on Monday morning, was cut across the board and ended the day as short as 9-1 with BetVictor – owned by Capri's co-owner Michael Tabor – with BetBright on their own at 14-1.

He is one of seven left in the race by O'Brien, whose Cliffs Of Moher is challenging Cracksman for favouritism at around 4-1, and punters have no doubt been encouraged by the rain that eased the Epsom going to good to soft.

Forced to make a further cut

Leon Blanche of BoyleSports pointed out that his firm had already shortened Capri to 14-1 (from 20) on Sunday, and said they were forced to make a further cut, to 10-1, on Monday.

Blanche said: "Epsom's had rain and they could get some more. With a horse like Capri, whose form is solid without being spectacular, we feel here that if there is any 'soft' in the description come Saturday it would certainly aid his chances.

"He's trained by a genius and punters are looking for a bit of value. His price has halved with us in 24 hours."

Ladbrokes cut Capri to 11-1 (from 16) and spokesman David Williams said: "We started to see a few eye-catching bets coming in for the horse around lunchtime. The bets were significant enough to warrant a relatively sharp move.

"It's not unusual to see these kind of moves at this stage of a Classic week before riding arrangements are confirmed, and clearly there are punters who believe Capri has what it takes to step up from his appearances this year in the Ballysax and Derrinstown."

Punters are used to seeing five-time winner O'Brien mob-handed in the Derby, but interestingly he has been unsuccessful when fielding his two biggest teams, runner-up Eagle Mountain doing best of eight runners in 2007, and Fame And Glory having to settle for second when one of six Ballydoyle runners two years later.

Saeed Bin Suroor has left Benbatl, Best Solution and Dubai Thunder in the Derby, in addition to which the Mark Johnston-trained Permian also comes under the Godolphin umbrella, although he is expected to continue racing in the colours of Sheikh Mohammed's son Sheikh Hamdan.

Permian runs Cracksman very close in the Epsom Derby Trial

Johnston warns punters to underestimate Dante winner Permian at their peril, and said: "He has Epsom form, albeit he got beaten [by Cracksman]. You've got to give the credit to Cracksman, who has a fraction better form than ours. All the indications are that Permian came on from Epsom to Newmarket, and from Newmarket to York.

"I would say Cracksman has got to improve to beat him. He won't beat him by running the race he did last time. Cracksman is close to favourite and Permian is around 12-1. He's sure to stay, sure to be better for the step up in trip."

He added: "Of course I'm worried about the Ballydoyle runners. They've dominated the Derby for years now and Aidan has some fantastic horses. He knows exactly what it takes to win a Derby more consistently than anyone in history.

'We deserve to be there'

"But we deserve to be there. It would be a travesty if the Dante winner wasn't there.

"I'm not having sleepless nights over it. It won't change my life, but it would be a great thing to have knocked off the bucket list."

Permian was supplemented at a cost of £85,000, along with last Friday's Cocked Hat Stakes winner Khalidi, trained by John Gosden, additions that boost the Derby's value to a record £1,625,000.

The only notable absentee at Monday's forfeit stage was the Andre Fabre-trained Waldgeist, a general 20-1 chance.

Epsom was hit by a welcome 15mm rain from 4pm Sunday to 2am Monday, and more is possible late on Friday, although the week is expected to be generally dry.  

Investec Derby acceptors

He's trained by a genius and people are looking for a bit of value. His price has halved with us in 24 hours
E.W. Terms