The Derby at Epsom is one of the world's great races, if not the world's greatest race, and while plenty is different in 2020, plenty remains the same. The test that is Epsom's mile-and-a-half course remains the same, as does the test of the punter trying to find the winner.
We've put Racing and Sports' Pricing Model to that test and she has landed on Kameko.
Ordinarily we publish a set of assessed prices here and largely let the reader sort out what the Model likes and doesn't like by comparing against the betting market. But The Model is now better calibrated than ever. When she says 2/1, they win something like 33% of the time (over time), just like the market. This is good news, and adds weight to her opinions when they do stray from the betting, but it doesn't really lend itself to writing articles such as this one.
A series of articles saying 'the market is about right' isn't exactly rivetting stuff. The goal here should be to cut the nonsense and just back winners. And so, prices to the wind, we will simply highlight horses that catch the Model's eye - based on a couple of the more interesting variables - starting with Epsom this weekend.
As mentioned, in the Derby the horse that the Model is out to find is Kameko, winner of the 2000 Guineas and, by virtue of that, the holder of the best rating available.
There's a good chance that the Derby will take no more winning than the Guineas, leaving Kameko's task largely one of repeating the dose. Just over a full half mile further around the quirks of Epsom. Conventional wisdom seems to be that he will struggle to do that. It's certainly a fair question, but there is very little form at the trip to work with and The Model is largely unconcerned with guessing such things. That's the trainers job, and Kameko has a pretty good one, along with a very good jockey. He's The Model's bet.
The Oaks, run on the same card this year, is a relatively thin heat and you guessed it, the market appears to be about right bar it's 20% vig. Zzzzz. Trying to interpret what The Model is saying about the Oaks (she only speaks broken English) we would probably come out with some pub-chat gem like "you'll have worse bets at 25/1 than Queen Daenerys" but the 'edge' is small - if it exists at all...
There are a couple in big handicaps that The Model identifies more cleary and should be backed in her view. Desert Icon, turning around quickly on a soft win six days ago, is one to be with in race three and in the last Tintoretto is a good gamble for, who The Model hopes will be, Derby-winning jockey Oisin Murphy.