Epsom Derby horse racing tips: Ancient Wisdom can upset favourite City Of Troy

Ancient Wisdom could take Derby glory (Getty Images)
Ancient Wisdom could take Derby glory (Getty Images)

It looks to be a wide-open running of the Epsom Derby this afternoon, with plenty in the hunt to win one of the sport’s most prestigious races.

Our resident tipster, Paul O’Brien, delivers his tips for a huge day of horse racing action.

Diamond Stakes: Embesto (2:35pm)

A case can be made for quite a few in this race. The current form of most in relatively poor, but multiple horses hold impressive previous form. The one who makes most appeal is four-year-old colt Embesto.

Improving on each of his runs in Britain as a three-year-old, he only found Nostrum too good for him on home soil. He dead-heated with Mighty Ulysses at Salisbury in a Group 3, before not disgracing him when coming fourth in France.

He was only fifth on reappearance at Newmarket in April when too keen, but headgear is applied this time to help him settle, which should see him return to form. Looks to have a very strong chance.

The Derby: Ancient Wisdom (4:30pm)

Favourite for the Derby, City Of Troy was everyone’s banker to win the Classic. That was until his woeful run in the 2,000 Guineas. He drifted sharply in the markets because of that run, but has attracted attention since. However, with the uncertainty around the favourite, it’s worth finding a horse to take him on with.

With the track conditions expected to be softer than good, it is worth going with a horse proven on slower ground. Ancient Wisdom won the Kameko Futurity at Doncaster with his final run of last year, finishing well on the heavy ground. The ground was slightly too quick for him at York in the Dante but he stayed on into second late.

The extra two furlongs is a positive and any additional rain will further help his cause.

Jra Tokyo Trophy Handicap: Mr Wagyu (5:50pm)

Epsom Racecourse is a very unique track and some horses struggle to perform here. One horse, though, that absolutely loves the track and always delivers is the ever reliable nine-year-old gelding Mr Wagyu.

Winner of this race in 2022 and third in 2023, he is six pounds better off in the handicap this year compared to last and is still in fine form. Second at Ripon over 5f in the soft ground on reappearance, he stayed on well and might well have won had he had slightly further.

Not disgraced at York two weeks ago, the ground was slightly too quick to mount a meaningful challenge. In slower ground today, and at his favourite track, he should be able to return to winning ways.