Irish Derby Tips and Betting Offers

Around three weeks after Epsom and a week after Royal Ascot, the Curragh holds its big race of the year as the Irish Derby comes to town. Here we take a look at the history of the race, provide our betting tips and bring you the best odds and offers surrounding this Classic contest.

First run at the track way back in 1866, this Group 1 event for three year olds is held over a trip of 1m4f at The Curragh and now offers a huge €855,000 in total prize money.

Irish Derby Tips and Betting Offers, 5:20 at the Curragh, 29 June 2019

A high class collection of eight horses will compete in the 2019 Irish Derby. As is always the case, Aidan O’Brien has a strong hand to play in the race including the winner of the Epsom Derby, Anthony Van Dyck. We’ve seen some excellent three-year-olds win both English and Irish versions of this 1 mile 4 furlong Classic and the money coming in suggests that could be the case again.

Time For Broome to Prove Himself

Although many three-year-olds are far from the finished article at this stage of their careers, the Irish Derby is not a race for those yet to show at least a glimpse of top class form. 13 of the last 16 winners had at least three previous wins heading to the Curragh with the same number getting the job done at the Group level.

Unsurprisingly, Anthony Van Dyck ticks both boxes with his two wins this season adding to a trio of successes as a juvenile. Connections have long held high hopes about the Derby winner and he was well fancied at Epsom but can you really say that he justifies being as short as 5/4?

The favourite has two main competitors according to the betting market. Madhmoon was second in the Derby and ran well in the 2000 Guineas so is clearly a classy performer but it’s Broome who is most tempting at 11/4 with Betfred.

On first viewing, it looked as those Broome just needed an extra furlong in the Derby. He was coming back at the leaders having been kept wide so as to have a clear run at the line and just didn’t have the time to reel them in. It could be, however, that he just didn’t get going in time and that the climb up the hill didn’t suit.

It’s unclear whether Broome will handle the Curragh better than Epsom which is one of the reasons that he is only third favourite. The majority of the last 15 winners were making their debut at the Curragh though and Broome could well add his name to that list.

Firmer Ground Should Help Norway

Royal Ascot was particularly interesting this year as rain in the area made the going softer than usual. For that reason, many well fancied horses had their reputations dented by poor performances and Norway was very much amongst that number.

He was never comfortable during the Queen’s Vase and beat only a small handful of horses. That followed another average showing in the Derby leaving Norway with a great deal to prove as he’s yet to kick on from some impressive showings as a two-year-old.

Nobody at Ballydoyle is ready to give up on Norway’s chances of success at the top level yet though. With more suitable ground at the Curragh, punters who remain loyal may be rewarded with at least an each way payout at 33/1 with 888Sport.

Betting Predictions

The Irish Derby could really be the making of Broome. He is a three-year-old with plenty of potential and the Curragh could be the perfect platform for him to start fulfilling it. The stiffer the pace, the more he’ll be able to use his stamina reserves and providing things go well in running, Broome has what it takes to finish strongest to get the win at 11/4 with Betfred.

Irish Derby Previous Winners

  • 2018 – Latrobe – jockey Donnacha O’Brien, trainer Joseph O’Brien
  • 2017 – Capri – jockey Seamie Heffernan, trainer Aidan O’Brien
  • 2016 – Harzand – jockey Pat Smullen, trainer Dermot Weld
  • 2015 – Jack Hobbs – jockey William Buick, trainer John Gosden
  • 2014 – Australia – jockey Joseph O’Brien, trainer Aidan O’Brien
  • 2013 – Trading Leather – jockey Kevin Manning, trainer Jim Bolger
  • 2012 – Camelot – jockey Joseph O’Brien, trainer Aidan O’Brien
  • 2011 – Treasure Beach – jockey Colm O’Donoghue , trainer Aidan O’Brien
  • 2010 – Cape Blanco – jockey Johnny Murtagh, trainer Aidan O’Brien
  • 2009 – Fame and Glory – jockey Johnny Murtagh, trainer Aidan O’Brien
  • 2008 – Frozen Fire – jockey Seamie Heffernan, trainer Aidan O’Brien
  • 2007 – Soldier of Fortune – jockey Seamie Heffernan, trainer Aidan O’Brien
  • 2006 – Dylan Thomas – jockey Kieren Fallon, trainer Aidan O’Brien

Race History

There had been earlier attempts to establish an Irish equivalent to Epsom’s most famous race but none really stuck until 1866. Even then the contest was more in line with the St. Leger, having been run over a trip of 1m6f. 1872 marked the year when the trip was reduced to its present distance and the Irish finally had a direct counterpart to the most acclaimed of the English flat contests.

It may not hold quite the fame and prestige of its Epsom counterpart, but for many the Irish Derby represents the truest test of a three year old thoroughbred. Whilst many a talented horse is undone by Epsom’s cambers and undulations, there are few fairer tracks than the flat galloping expanses of the Curragh. Here the best horse really should prevail.

When a horse rubberstamps an Epsom success by following up here there can be little question they are the best of their generation at the trip. The Irish trained Orby was the first to achieve this double in 1907, with Santa Claus being the only other to do so in the first 100 years of the contest.

Thanks in large part to significant increases in prize money in 1962, the Irish Derby has taken on far greater significance in the international racing calendar and is now targeted with increasing regularity by connections of the The Derby winner. This shows tellingly in the stats, as a total of 15 runners triumphed at both Epsom and the Curragh between 1970 and 2015.

O’Brien Dominance

Legendary Irish trainer Vincent O’Brien won this race for the first time in 1970 with the brilliant Nijinsky and recorded four successes in all. It is his namesake Aidan O’Brien who is the most successful trainer in the history of the race though.

As of 2018 the master of Ballydoyle had recorded a magnificent 12 wins in the contest. Super sire Galileo, High Chaparral, Camelot and Australia number amongst his Curragh conquerors. Four of O’Brien’s winners were sired by the aforementioned Galileo and three by Montjeu, the brilliant winner of this race in 1999 for John Hammond.

Sir Michael Stoute has proved to be the most successful of the English trainers here since the 1960s. Shergar and Shahrastani followed up Epsom success here for the Newmarket handler who also sent out Shareef Dancer to land the spoils.

Aidan O’Brien has used a number of different jockeys during his period of domination and so it is still Morny Wing who heads the list of riders with six wins between 1921 and 1946.