Racing: At odds: The changing face of the Derby market

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The Independent Online
PUNTERS are fickle about Derby favourites. Cape Verdi became market leader for Epsom after it was announced last week she will tackle the colts. She is the sixth to head the Derby betting since last summer...

30 August 1997

KILIMANJARO becomes 12-1 favourite after winning a four-runner race at Sandown, but loses his lustre when fourth in the Royal Lodge Stakes at Ascot in September and books his one-way ticket to Palookaville when sixth in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster in October.

12 october 1997

SECOND EMPIRE goes into winter quarters as 8-1 market leader after winning the Grand Criterium at Longchamp. He remains a Derby possible after his third in the Irish 2,000 Guineas.

16 APRIL 1998

GULLAND jumps to 7-1 favouritism after finishing a neck second to the "invincible" Xaar in the Craven Stakes at Newmarket. However, after Xaar finishes a "vincible" fourth in the 2,000 Guineas and Gulland makes heavy weather of winning the Chester Vase, punters look elsewhere.

13 MAY

SARATOGA SPRINGS becomes the 4-1 favourite after winning the Dante Stakes at York. However, his tenure at the head of the market lasts only 24 hours and he has been re-routed to today's French Derby at Chantilly.

14 MAy

GREEK DANCE takes over at the top of the betting at 5-1 after an impressive win in the Glasgow Stakes at York. Michael Stoute's colt remains prominent in the betting although he has not exactly been flying up the gallops.

28 MAY

CAPE VERDI is now 5-2 favourite after it is announced she will bypass the easier option of the Oaks on Friday to go for the whole enchilada 24 hours later. The impressive 1,000 Guineas winner is bred to be even better at a mile and a half and, to paraphrase Damon Runyon, if Cape Verdi is not a certainty for the Derby, she will do until a certainty comes along.