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Saxon Warrior hard to beat in Derby but Kew Gardens has each-way appeal

Aidan O'Brien regularly fills the places with some of his less heralded colts

Kew Gardens storms home in the Zetland Stakes from Dee Ex Bee
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There's a strong chance that Aidan O'Brien will win his seventh Derby this year with Saxon Warrior bringing Classic form to the table that others simply cannot match.

His 2,000 Guineas win was comprehensive, O'Brien has stated he will improve plenty from that and he comes from the same stable as Camelot and Australia - what more do you need?

I think he will win the Triple Crown and would be happy to back him to do so. However, for those not willing to lump on him for Epsom at a shade of odds-on, you want something at a bigger price who could at least finish in the frame and, if something were to go amiss with Saxon Warrior, scoop the win as well.

After all, a similar thing happened just last year when 40-1 shot Wings Of Eagles beat his much better-fancied stablemate Cliffs Of Moher.

And for that we need to go back to O'Brien. His Derby record, on top of the six winners, contains many placed horses at huge prices, including Treasure Beach (25-1) in 2011 and At First Sight (100-1) the previous year.

This year he is likely to have a team of four running and the best value is Kew Gardens, who is available to back at 33-1.

He is widely viewed as the weakest of the Ballydoyle four, but it's best to think of him without Saxon Warrior and then his each-way claims become more attractive.

Firstly, he is a definite stayer. He will probably stay further in time so the trip is no problem at all.

Secondly, he will be super fit having had two runs already this season, improving from his Newmarket return to finish second in the Lingfield Derby Trial last time out behind the enterprisingly ridden Knight To Behold.

Thirdly, he won the Zetland Stakes last season in authoritative style, beating Dee Ex Bee by upwards of three lengths. That's the very same race in which Wings Of Eagles was only fourth during his two-year-old season.

Beating Dee Ex Bee by that margin also marks him up favourably against the highly touted Young Rascal, who beat the Mark Johnston-trained colt by only half a length yet is now second favourite for the Derby at around 10-1.

Time and again O'Brien's so-called third and fourth strings outperform their odds and it would be no surprise to see this happen again with Kew Gardens, who deserves a bit more respect in the market than he is getting.

Nick Watts is deputy editor of the Racing Post Weekender


He is viewed as the weakest of the Ballydoyle four, but it's best to think of him without Saxon Warrior and then he becomes more attractive
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