We’re looking to oppose hot favourite Saxon Warrior with our Epsom Derby tips and reckon Roaring Lion offers better value.
Aidan O’Brien’s charge already has one Classic success on his CV after galloping on strongly to land the 2,000 Guineas and is unbeaten in four outings.
However, he is plenty short enough in the betting for such a hot contest on a unique track and we prefer to side with Roaring Lion each-way.
John Gosden’s colt was just a neck behind the favourite when second in last year’s Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster.
On that occasion, he came through from the rear to hit the front inside the final furlong, only for Saxon Warrior to battle back close to home.
This term, Roaring Lion was a little disappointing when third in Newmarket’s Craven Stakes and then could only plug on for fifth in the Guineas at the same track.
However, the son of American champion Kitten’s Joy redeemed his reputation with an ultra-impressive triumph in the Dante Stakes at York, strolling home by four and a half lengths.
Jack the Lad now growing up
That race has proven a great Derby trial down the years, with 2015 winner Golden Horn becoming the 10th victor to go on and claim Classic glory at Epsom.
“I liked the way he hit the line strong,” beamed trainer Gosden after the Knavesmire success. “He’s galloped out well.
“I liked the way he came between horses and went away and won – and he didn’t do any of his silly hanging left and playing around.
“He’s always been a right old Jack the Lad at home, but he’s just professionally got in the zone recently.”
Jockey Oisin Murphy added: “He relaxed very good and picked up like a smashing horse.
“His form was very strong, he’s very exciting and hopefully he can build on this.”
Gosden trained Golden Horn to do the Dante-Derby double three years ago and has already had a Group One success at this year’s Epsom meeting with Cracksman in the Coronation Cup.
Saxon Warrior will be a tough nut to crack, as O’Brien seeks a fifth win in this race in eight years and his seventh victory overall.
Even so, Roaring Lion has shown he has the talent to swoop late and fast and gets the vote as a value option in our Epsom Derby tips 2018.
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