It still has to be behind closed doors, which has installed some 3 miles of fencing as the course is normally open in the infield. The Oaks has been moved to the same day as the Derby and then on Sunday it's over to Sandown for the Eclipse, which does retain its usual date although this year is for 4yo+ so that the 3yos will be more attracted to the Derby and as a result there are 16 of them.
Aidan O'Brien and John Gosden have saddled most of the Derby winners in recent years and it's likely they could repeat this time but there's Andrew Balding looming large with a horse called Kameko – Japanese for little tortoise. Now there is nothing tortoise like about this horse – he's by American sire Kitten's Joy and in his five starts has won three and run second twice, with his only 3yo outing to date being in the 2000 Guineas which he won. Oisin Murphy is his regular partner and will be on board. There could be a slight question over the trip with his dam side pedigree not too strong in that area, but he will have been trained right up to the top of his stamina.
English King comes into this as favourite on 3/1 based on a good win in the Derby Trial at Lingfield. He's by Camelot and has had three starts – his first was not that promising as he raced very green, then Tom Marquand took over and he won the next two but the owner wants Frankie Dettori on him for this race.
Aidan O'Brien has sent a team of six. Mogul on 4/1 will be ridden by Ryan Moore and comes into this possibly one race short. He was 4th in the King Edward VII at Ascot and seemed to tire.
Russian Emperor is the ride of Seamie Hefffernan (who will also ride at Chantilly on Sunday) and this is his fifth start. He's by Galileo out of the lovely Aussie Mare Atlantic Jewell and is part-owned by Laurie Macri and we like him a lot. 13/2 looks a good price.
They say to win the Guineas you need to be fast and to win the Derby you need to be lucky!
There's a lot to Love about Love as she headlines the field for the Oaks which will be run for the first time on the same day as the Derby. Love is on 11/10 with Ryan Moore on board. She's the most experienced having had 8 starts and won the 1000 Guineas prior to this.
Frankly Darling is by Frankel and is the mount of Frankie Dettori and from the John Gosden stable so will have had an excellent preparation. She won the Ribblesdale Stakes G2 at Royal Ascot and looks super-talented. 15/8 the quote.
Ennistyman also comes from Aidan O'Brien's yard and is another Galileo. She looks to be improving with every run and her most recent outing saw her run second to Frankly Darling in the Ribblesdale with a margin of 1 ¾ lengths – she may not be able to lessen that margin but she could prove a difficult obstacle depending on how the race pans out. 11/2 is the quote.
In between the two classics there is the G3 Princess Elizabeth, for 3yo fillies over 1700m. Fooraat is trained by Roger Varian and will be ridden by David Egan. She has won both her outings, the last at Chelmsford by 7 lengths. 7/4. Cloak of Spirits is by Invincible Spirit and she was second to Love at Newmarket. Andrea Atzeni rides for Richard Hannnon. Summer Romance is a Godolphin runner by Kingman from the Appleby yard with William Buick in the irons. She is by Kingman, has had 5 outings winning two and placing third in another. 7/1 looks about right.