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Nic Ladds 19th May 2009 - 12:54

A look ahead at the Derby betting

The Investec Derby is the most anticipated Classic of the year and it is no surprise to see the impressive 2000 Guineas winner Sea The Stars sit at 11/4 in the betting.

John Oxx's colt was mightily impressive in winning the season's first Classic and has reportedly come out of the race well.

Questions have been raised over whether he has the stamina to get the Derby trip and while the answers are as yet inconclusive, he is half-brother to Derby winner Galileo and the stamina in his pedigree from his sire's side suggest he will have a great chance of getting the trip.

Sea The Stars is currently second in the betting behind Aidan O'Brien's main hope Fame And Glory who is currently at odds of 9/4.

The colt has won all of this four starts and while it would have been good to see him beat some of his more competitive rivals, he could not have been more impressive in getting the job done.

Judging by the way Fame And Glory has quickened up and stayed in his races he should have the stamina for the Epsom showpiece.

The main question mark over him at the moment, like for many of his rivals is will he handle the undulating Epsom track, but that can only be speculated about and the only off-putting thing at the moment is the price and there could be better options at bigger odds.

O'Brien unsurprisingly has an army of contenders entered for The Derby, many of which will come with a very real chance.

Black Bear Island is a 9/1 chance and has just come out of winning the Dante at York.

He beat some good rivals there but it was a tough race and he hasn't yet achieved as much as Fame And Glory but certainly deserves his place.

He is brother to Derby winner High Chaparral and should get the 1m4f at Epsom, however this time around his stable mate Freemantle who Black Bear Island beat in to second should get a lot closer.

Freemantle is a 14/1 chance for The Derby and will come on a lot for the run in the Dante. The Derby trip on paper looks like it stretch him a little but he has been steadily supported ever since his good run in the Dante.

O'Brien's other runners who are likely to take their chance are Guineas fourth Rip Van Winkle who is available at 10/1 in the betting and has a big chance providing he leaves his injury worries behind him.

Masterofthehorse who is a 20/1 chance, Age Of Aquarius who is also 20/1 and Golden Sword who can be backed at 33/1.

Of the contenders who look poised to beat O'Brien's host of entries other than the Derby favourite, Jim Bolger's Gan Amhras looks certain to contend.

An excellent third in the Guineas was a great run considering his pedigree suggests he will thrive at middle distances meaning the Derby trip could bring out the best in him.

Jim Bolger won the race last year with New Approach and is will be no surprise to see Gan Amhras to turn the tables with Sea The Stars at over triple the price at 9/1.

The winter favourite for the great race, Crowded House is now as big as 16/1 due to his lacklustre run in the Dante when sent off favourite.

He showed devastating turn of pace as a two-year-old and he may have needed the run last time more than expected and he was also found to have some mucus present. The stable are monitoring him closely but you can be sure they won't run him unless he is spot on and while it is risky at the moment, the 16/1 on offer could seem huge come the big day should Crowded House take his chance.

A look in the market is also necessary for the main Godolphin entry Kite Wood who is 20/1 and should improve for the step up in trip.

It is not yet certain which Sir Michael Stoute possibilities will take their chance but Glass Harmomium at 33/1 looks to be his main possibility.

The early feeling is that Gan Amhras is going to put in a big run and lay down a huge challenge to the current market leaders and if you fancy Jim Bolger's colt then why not snap up the 9/1 available now.

The market is already starting to take shape nicely and it will be fascinating to see how it shapes up in the coming weeks as build up to the big day on June 6.

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