Cloth Of Stars can light the way for Investec Derby punters


David Metcalf | June 3, 2016

Stars set to sparkle in Investec Derby

French raider Cloth Of Stars looks decent value to win a wide-open renewal of the Investec Derby at Epsom (16:30).

Trained by the brilliant Andre Fabre, the colt has won four of his six starts and looked something special in the last of those when landing the Group 2 Prix Greffulhe over 1m 2f at Saint-Cloud.

After being held-up in the last pair by jockey Mickael Barzalona, Cloth of Stars made good headway 1 1/2 furlongs out before showing a smart turn of foot to win going away by 2 1/2 lengths from Group 1 winner Robin of Navan.

Step up in trip will suit

It was a most taking performance, and given the way the son of Sea The Stars finished off the race the extra two furlongs in this will hold know fears.

Indeed, Fabre has said that a strong run 1m 4f will be ideal for Cloth Of Stars and another plus is that he is versatile as regards ground having won on good, soft and heavy.

Fabre also knows what is required to win the race having saddled a similar type in Pour Moi to land the spoils in 2011, and Cloth Of Stars brings top class form to the table and looks the one to beat.

Moonlight Magic feared most

Moonlight Magic showed a good attitude when digging deep to win the Group 3 Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial Stakes over 1m 2f at Leopardstown by 1 1/4 lengths, and looks a big player.

Trained in Ireland by Jim Bolger, who saddled New Approach to win the Derby in 2008, the colt has won three of his four starts and is a tough and improving sort.

Moonlight Magic is also bred to relish the step up to 1m 4f, being by Cape Cross who sired last year’s winner Golden Horn, and looks the type who has plenty more to offer.

Jockey Kevin Manning has also gone on record saying that he doesn’t fear anything in the race, and there is nobody better than Bolger at getting his horses spot on for the big day.

US Army Ranger needs to step up

US Army Ranger is considered the pick of Aidan O’Brien’s runners and is unbeaten in two starts.

After scoring on debut over 1m 2f at the Curragh, the beautifully bred son of Galileo followed-up with success in a controversial Group Chester Vase.

US Army Ranger scrambled home by a short-head from stable companion Port Douglas who was very tender handled and arguably would have won had his jockey really gone for it rather than just pushed him with hands and heels in the final 100 yards.

That form does not look particularly strong, and US Army Ranger needs to step up on it significantly if he is to provide O’Brien with a sixth Derby success.

There is little doubt that he is held in the highest regard and has a big engine, but US Army Ranger still looks far from the finished article and could struggle to cope with the undulations of Epsom.

Wings Of Desire still has plenty to prove

Wings Of Desire exploded into contention for the race when landing the Group 2 Dante Stakes on just his third start and is bidding to give trainer John Gosden back-to-back successes in the Group 1 contest.

The Newmarket handler saddled Golden Horn to win 12 months ago, and that one had also won the Dante on his final prep run.

Wings of Desire showed a good attitude to beat Deauville by a neck at York, and the race has proved a leading trial for the Derby over the years.

It was a tremendous performance given that Wings Of Desire didn’t put foot on a racecourse until April 16th, but it was a messily run affair and the form of the race looks questionable.

Deauville is not considered among the best of trainer Aidan O’Brien’s three-year-olds, the third home Foundation encountered all sorts of trouble in-running, and the favourite Midterm ran below par due to an injury.


You’ll find more Derby Festival tips and previews on our Epsom page.

Coral’s top tip: Cloth Of Stars has top class form in the book and looks worth a wager to win a wide-open renewal of the Investec Derby. Moonlight Magic is a tough sort and rates the main danger.

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