Kameko, English King Headline Investec Derby

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By Emily Shields

The prestigious Investec Derby (G1) takes place at Epsom Downs Saturday, July 4, with trainer Aidan O’Brien seeking a record eighth win in the race. The 1 ½ mile contest is the race the Kentucky Derby is modeled after, and though it usually takes place in June, it was moved due to the coronavirus pandemic that halted racing around the world.

The Investec Derby – historically known as the Epsom Derby – dates back to 1780. It is the second leg of the English Triple Crown, with the 2000 Guineas (G1) taking place in the spring.

English King is the likely favorite in the race after winning the June 5 Derby Trial at Lingfield by 2 ¾ lengths. Jockey Tom Marquand has been replaced by legendary Italian rider Frankie Dettori. On Sunday, Dettori will ride Enable in the Coral-Eclipse (G1) at Sandown. English Kind has won two of three starts for trainer Ed Walker.

Kameko is an American-bred son of top sire Kitten’s Joy. Andrew Balding trains the three-time winner, who has never been worse than second. Kameko upset the O’Brien-trained Wichita by a neck when winning the first leg of the English Triple Crown, the QIPCO 2000 Guineas (G1) last out. He won the Group 1 Vertem Futurity Trophy on Newcastle’s synthetic surface last fall.

Trainer Aidan O’Brien is currently tied for the most wins in the race with seven, starting in 2001 with Galileo and going through last year with Anthony Van Dyck. He has finished first, second, and third a whopping seven times. This year, his army includes seven runners.

The best of those might be Vatican City. He was second behind top runner Siskin in the Irish 2000 Guineas (G1) on June 12. That was only the third start for the son of Galileo, who is out of a full sister to champion Giant’s Causeway. He broke his maiden in try number two at Dundalk in October.

Another O’Brien runner is Mogul. The son of Galileo was a two-time winner last year, and wasn’t fully ready to return when finishing fourth of six as the favorite in the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot. This well-regarded colt is a half-brother to millionaire Japan, who faces Enable on Sunday. Russian Emperor, Armory, Serpentine, Amhran Na Bhfiann, and Mythical complete O’Brien’s potential runners.Watch and wager on the 2020 Investec Derby with TVG.

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