5.20 Curragh: Irish Derby Preview
The front three in the market, in the Derby winner Wings of Eagles, Cracksman and Waldgeist can all be backed at 11/4 but it is Andre Fabre’s Waldgeist that looks the one to side with here.
Waldgeist won the group one Criterium de Saint-Cloud over 10 furlongs as a 2-year-old in heavy ground, but has finished runner-up over his two starts as a 3-year-old. His 2 starts this year were over 10 and 10.5 furlongs which were on the short side, with his trainer Andre Fabre stating that the 10.5 furlongs in the French Derby would be on the short side for Waldgeist. He went on to run a great race in the French Derby, travelling well, racing prominently before being sent on in to the lead 100 metres out, only to be cut down on the line by Brametot.
This step up to 12 furlongs is what he has been crying out for, over a galloping track that should really suit with a tough up-hill finish to bring his stamina in to play.
Wings of Eagles was an impressive winner of the Epsom Derby, with Cracksman also running a great race for such an inexperienced horse in third. It’s possible the fast early pace went against horses racing prominently, with Wings of Eagles being held up in rear and coming to challenge late on in the race. He finished well behind Waldgeist in the Criterium de Saint-Cloud as a 2-year-old, along with many of his stable mates who again re-oppose today, but turned the tables at Epsom under very different conditions, sent off at an unfancied 40/1.
At a best priced 11/4, Waldgeist is the bet for me, but if you do fancy any of the other runners it could be worth having a look at the PMU pool for this on Racebets, as they are offering pool betting on the race for the French market that you can bet in to. With Waldgeist sure to be popular with the French public, he could even trade odds-on and that could see some big prices on the other runners.
Waldgeist, Generally 11/4 with U.K. bookmakers