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Kentucky Derby tips: Prediction, best bets and racing odds



Kentucky Derby prediction

The mile-and-a-quarter Kentucky Derby, held at the iconic Churchill Downs racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky, stands as one of America’s most prestigious horse races. This Saturday’s renewal, anticipated by an estimated 150,000 spectators, will also captivate millions more through TV coverage.

It will be the 150th running of the race and is the first leg of the American Triple Crown. The Kentucky Derby is also known as The Run for the Roses because the winner is draped in a colourful garland of roses in the post-race celebrations.

2024 Kentucky Derby information

When: Saturday, 4th May 2024, 11.57pm BST

Where: Churchill Downs, Louisville, Kentucky

TV coverage: Sky Sports Racing from 8.30pm

Distance: One and one quarter mile

Prize fund: $5million. $3.1million to the winner

With an impressive prize pool of $5 million, up $2m from a year ago, the 2024 Kentucky Derby promises to be a thrilling and fiercely competitive race. The triumphant connections will be rewarded with a substantial $3.1 million. A total of 20 runners, with two reserves on standby, will battle for the coveted title.

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Kentucky Derby tip

On UK betting sites, Sierra Leone and Fierceness dominate the market. Sierra Leone has won three of his four starts, and this $2.3m yearling purchase paid back a chunk of that fee when winning the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland on his latest start a month ago.

He picked up another valuable event before that, winning a touch cosily in a Grade 2 race at Fair Grounds. That form has been boosted, with several of the placed runners winning since.

The extra furlong in the Kentucky Derby will only play to Sierra Leone’s strengths, and he should have too much power in the closing stages for his main rivals on horse racing betting sites

Fierceness is trained by Todd Pletcher, who sent out the 2010 and 2017 winners and will be ridden by three-time Kentucky Derby-winning jockey John Velazquez, so he is in safe hands. He was an effortless winner in the Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park at the end of March on a fast surface and is likely to face similar conditions in the Derby.

He had things all his own way at Gulfstream, and from a tricky draw in stall 17 at Churchill Downs, he is unlikely to be gifted an easy lead. He may be up to the task, but this represents a far more demanding assignment.

Sierra Leone and Fierceness look capable of winning this historic race, and both must be considered. However, based on his excellent win at Keeneland, a slight preference is for Sierra Leone. The 3/1 offered by Betfred may not be bettered.

Kentucky Derby Tip 1: 23.57 – Sierra Leone @ 3/1 with Betfred

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Epic effort expected from 50/1 outsider

The market leaders are short enough on horse racing betting apps, and it could pay to side with the ever-improving Epic Ride as an alternative. He is a horse with a big heart who has yet to perform poorly in any race.

He only made the Derby because of a scratching, but he is the sort to run well above what may be expected, and a few pennies each-way at 50/1 with William Hill could be fruitful. He is unlikely to be that bigger price on gambling sites come the race.

He was a contender when massively stepped up in class when third to Sierra Leone at Keeneland. He has plenty to find on that run, but he gives the impression that much more could be left in the tank, and the Derby trip will suit him.

Plenty of UK interest will be centred around Society Man, ridden by former leading British jockey Frankie Dettori, now based in California. He is a best-priced 33/1 with BetMGM, a price that may well entice some interest.

Society Man was a decent second in a good Grade 2 race at Aqueduct on his latest start, but his overall form does not match the same level the principals have achieved. It would need a magical ride from Dettori and a good showing from Society Man, but it looks doubtful he will make much of an impression.

Kentucky Derby Tip 2: 23.57 – Epic Ride each-way @ 50/1 with William Hill

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Turf Classic Stakes tip

Dettori may fare better earlier in the meeting, where he partners the Charlie Appleby-trained Naval Power in the Turf Classic Stakes over a mile and one furlong.

Appleby is no stranger to winning big prizes in America. His Master Of The Seas has won some hefty prize money in recent months, and Naval Power ran well when second to him in a mile race at Keeneland in April.

The extra furlong at Churchill Downs will suit him far better, and provided the gaps open up in the last couple of furlongs, Dettori should have no problem steering him home in this valuable race.

22.27 Turf Classic Stakes tip – Naval Power @ 11/4 with bet365

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Kentucky Derby free bets

The Kentucky Derby forms part of a bumper weekend of racing which also includes the Guineas Festival and the Punchestown Festival, and there are opportunities to earn free bets for wagering on these events via sign up offers from bookmakers.

Spinzwin Bet are giving new customers a £35 free bet when they open an account using the link below. To unlock the free bet, punters must deposit and wager a minimum of £20 on their qualifying bet at odds of 1/2 (1.5) or greater.

As part of the welcome offer, new users will all receive 11 free spins on the UK slots game Viking Rune Craft on the bookmaker’s online casino UK.

Before signing up for Spinzwin Bet or any new betting sites, always check the terms and conditions of the sign-up offer. If you do have a bet this weekend, please gamble responsibly.

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