By News Team
30th April 2021
There’s the small matter of the Kentucky Derby across the pond on Saturday and our resident US racing expert, Nick Luck, has previewed the big race for us.
Read on for his thoughts and best bet. Use our bet calculator to work out your potential winnings.
KNOWN AGENDA can be the first horse from Post Position 1 to win the Kentucky Derby since Ferdinand became the last of eight winners from the innermost berth in 1986. Dealing with that trend first, it should be noted that the new integrated starting gate, which debuted last year, offers the horse on the inside much more room to adopt a position that was previously the case, so the likelihood of losing the race into the first turn is lessened significantly.
Now to the positives: his victory in the Florida Derby, when he took plenty of kickback, was extremely impressive, most obviously for its strong and determined finishing effort. If that suggested that he would come forward for the step up to 10 furlongs, so too does his slightly unconventional pedigree. By the brilliant and stout Curlin, he is out of a British-bred mare who has a fair few stayers close up on her page. Todd Pletcher has four horses in this race and this makes most appeal by some way.
His key danger may be Rock Your World, a revelation in the Santa Anita Derby last time. He, too, finished his prep strongly, only really hitting top gear at the wire, and he boasts the best figure in the race for that performance. He’ll be ridden handily, and he should be tactical enough to stay out of trouble.
There is nothing not to like about favourite Essential Quality, but this will be a very different challenge against some fresh talent with more proven ability to stretch their speed. Still, he’ll likely hit the board. For a horse to go well and use in exotics at a fancier price, I would recommend one of the selection’s stable companions Dynamic One, who didn’t really enjoy the rub of the green in the Wood Memorial. He’s quite an old school type and can close off well for a piece of the action.