Horse Betting: Take on Camelot in the Derby
Camelot is inexperienced, with just three races under his belt, and so, in some respects, is his jockey.
The O'Brien Family teams up with Camelot on Saturday, but with the short price on offer, Simon Rowlands has looked at some alternatives to the favourite in Saturday's Derby.
Therefore, if you have been paying attention, you should have little difficulty in answering the following question: "is Camelot a good bet @ around Betfair odds of (1.75) for The Derby at Epsom?".
A clue: the answer is not "yes".
It is almost certainly true that Camelot is the likeliest winner of racing's Blue Riband. He is an unbeaten classic winner, likely to be suited by the longer trip of Saturday's race, and his 11 rivals include four from his own stable, all considered inferior to him.
But every horse has its price, and Camelot's price is the one thing about him that does not smell sweet.
If you wanted to pick holes, you could justifiably point out that the form of the 2000 Guineas that Camelot won a month ago has not worked out especially well.
Hermival and Trumpet Major - third and fourth at Newmarket - finished sixth and last respectively in the Irish equivalent at the Curragh last weekend. Coupe de Ville - fifth at Newmarket - came only seventh in the French equivalent at Longchamp before that.
Camelot got readily on top of French Fifteen near the line at Newmarket, but it was by no means a walk in the park for him before that. His Guineas-winning Timeform rating of 123 is 3.5 below the average needed to win at Epsom over the last 10 years.
Camelot is inexperienced, with just three races under his belt, and so, in some respects, is his jockey. Joseph O'Brien has yet to ride a winner at Epsom and has had only one ride (Memphis Tennessee, fourth last year) in The Derby itself.
Joseph, like his mount, is talented, but the roller-coaster of Epsom has made a fool of more than a few jockeys over the years.
Camelot's opposition could be stronger, but Bonfire looks a very worthy rival from where I am sitting. The Andrew Balding-trained colt might be unbeaten himself had he had better luck in France last year, and his Dante win in a decent time showed he is not only decidedly smart but also willing to knuckle down when it matters.
Camelot's stablemates Astrology and Imperial Monarch have both been good trial winners, the latter possibly doing very well to overhaul Thought Worthy at Sandown, while the undefeated Main Sequence goes from strength to strength.
Do you still want to back Camelot at odds on?
Rather than trying to land on the one or more to beat Camelot - in order of personal preference: Bonfire, Imperial Monarch and Main Sequence - I will be "playing bookie" and laying the horse at what seem to me to be cramped odds.
Recommended Betfair Bet
2 pts lay Camelot @ around Betfair odds of (1.80) or shorter in The Derby