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Saturday, 17 November, 2018

O'Brien duo appear overpriced for Derby success

The Anvil, inside in third, can run a big race at Epsom
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It's hard to remember a more open Derby and, not for the first time, bookmakers may have underestimated the strength in depth of the challenge from Ballydoyle.

It's right that Cliffs Of Moher's claims are respected and he is clearly Aidan O'Brien's main hope, but looking beyond the first string has proved profitable many times in the Derby.

Ruler Of The World (7-1), Treasure Beach (25-1), At First Sight
(100-1), Dylan Thomas (25-1) and The Great Gatsby (20-1) were all top finishers for O'Brien in the Derby - all in the first three - but none was his shortest-priced runner.

O'Brien trained the first three in the Chester Vase and the Derrinstown and it looks like most of that sextet will be running, with Douglas Macarthur and The Anvil the two I like.

Douglas Macarthur won the Derrinstown in gritty fashion, following up his Ballysax second to Rekindling, and while that form wasn't franked by the winner at York it could be that the Derrinstown form is better than it looks, with the O'Brien horses needing the run in April.

The Anvil would be a real turn-up having finished third in the Vase, but he was only beaten just over a length at Chester and also has some useful form from last season.

He's always looked the type to progress at three and, while he's not top-drawer, he might not need to be.

Douglas Macarthur is a general 20-1 shot while The Anvil can be backed at 50-1 (Hills). Both look cracking each-way bets, especially as so few colts have looked the part with Cracksman, who was unnecessarily shortened for not running last week, and Eminent, who ran very moderately last time, both far too short.

Looking at the racing this weekend, the Temple Stakes takes place at Haydock and Clive Cox, who won the race last year with Profitable, can do it again with his progressive filly Priceless

Fifth in the Palace House Stakes, she didn't seem to handle the Rowley Mile at all there so it was a pretty respectable effort. Haydock, where she recorded a seven-length victory on her debut, will be much more her cup of tea.

He's always looked the type to progress at three and, while he's not top-drawer, he might not need to be
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