Epsom Derby 2023 runners and riders: A horse-by-horse guide

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Owner: Mr P. K. Siu 
Trainer: Ed Walker
Jockey: Tom Marquand
Another who looks good value at 16-1. Presumably, by Australia, named after the bay in New Zealand, same continent anyway. Has just a length and a quarter to find with the favourite Military Order on their Lingfield form and you could argue the winner had the run of the race. The pair finished well clear of the rest which is a good sign. Proven on good ground which he is likely to get. Comes in slightly under-rated. **** 
Rating: ****
Current odds: 28/1

White Birch 

Owner: Mrs C. C. Regalado-Gonzalez 
Trainer: John Joseph Murphy 
Jockey: Colin Keane
Ran a stormer in the Dante to push The Foxes to the post by staying on strongly up the straight after being awkward out of the stalls and racing at the back. Needs to get over a hard race at York in double quick time but looks a tough sort. Trainer won the Champion Chase with Newmill but aims high and sometimes hits the target. The last (and only fourth in 243 editions) grey to win the Derby was Airborne, heavily backed by demobbed RAF personnel, in 1946 – it’s been too long.
Rating: **** 
Current odds: 12/1

Dubai Mile is my pick to finish first…provided the race even starts

By Marcus Armytage, Racing Correspondent

Dubai Mile, the one colt with serious Group One form at both two and three, can become the first Yorkshire-trained winner of the Betfred Derby since Dante in 1945 when the race is run inside a ‘ring of steel’ at Epsom on Saturday.

The 244th Derby, first won by Diomed in 1780, will have security like none seen in its two-and-a-half-century history after threats of protests by the same group that held up the start of the Grand National led the Jockey Club to get an injunction forbidding a track “invasion”.

But Epsom, surrounded as it is by woodland and the Downs, essentially open common land, is almost undefendable, much more so than Aintree, and the truth is that however much notice, money, barriers both physical and legal, and manpower is chucked at it, whether it is one determined protester or an overwhelming number of them, they are likely to get through.

Now, though, they can go to prison for it and there is a feeling that sport’s fightback against unlawful interruption begins on Tattenham Hill and winds up in the Scrubs a few months hence.

Racing’s hope is that the forecast protests prove a damp squib and that we get a good clean race off at the early scheduled start time of 1.30pm without hiccup but Charlie Johnston, in his first season as the sole name on the licence at Kingsley House in Middleham, believes Dubai Mile has the experience and the mentality to cope with most eventualities.

A Group One winner over two and a quarter miles at two but with the speed at three to finish fifth in the 2,000 Guineas, he is usually ridden forward which, in theory, should mean traffic is less of an issue. He has won on good to firm and heavy so looks versatile in that respect and it is that Group One form that sets him apart in one of the most open editions in recent years and in which his rivals are long on potential but short on actual form.

The pick of the Irish is Jessica Harrington’s Sprewell, the three-lengths winner at Leopardstown, the only clear cut trial winner, especially if good ground improves him as his action suggests it might. Another Irish runner White Birch bids to become only the fifth grey to win the race in all those years while victory for Auguste Rodin would be a ninth winner for Aidan O’Brien.

But, so open is this race, do not rule out Military Order, The Foxes, Auguste Rodin, Passenger, Waipiro or even Artistic Star. 

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