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

Dubai Mile in training - Epsom Derby 2023 runners and riders: A horse-by-horse guide - PA/Danny Lawson
Dubai Mile in training - Epsom Derby 2023 runners and riders: A horse-by-horse guide - PA/Danny Lawson

The biggest race of the British Flat season, the Epsom Derby, takes place this afternoon.

Here, Telegraph Sport gives you the rundown on every horse entered in the race along with a rating and the latest odds.

Having a bet on the race? Find the best Epsom Derby betting offers

Adelaide River

Owner: Mrs J Magnier/M Tabor/D Smith/Westerberg 
Trainer: Aidan O’Brien 
Jockey: Seamie Heffernan
By Australia, dam won one race from 16 starts at about a mile so not the best bred of the Ballydoyle contingent. Well beaten by Dubai Mile last year and Arrest at Chester though they clearly had hopes for him running in the Chester Vase, a race they had won nine times. Has only raced on heavy. Might improve a bit on better ground and, possibly, over shorter but not opening the batting on the team sheet. 
Rating (0-5): *
Current odds: 33/1


Owner: Juddmonte
Trainer: John & Thady Gosden Frankie Dettori
Jockey: Frankie Dettori
Topical name with protests expected. Sure to be the housewives’ choice with Frankie Dettori up on his 28th and last Derby ride. By all-round superdad Frankel, which is a big plus, definitely stays a mile and a half having won the Chester Vase and has had a spin round Tattenham Corner in a dry run recently but probably a good few lbs more effective on soft ground with his high knee action and size. Might just get away with it on watered good ground.
Rating: **** 
Current odds: 4/1

Artistic Star

Owner: Mr J. C. Smith 
Trainer: Ralph Beckett
Jockey: Rob Hornby
Galileo colt who goes into the race with one claim to fame in that he is unbeaten. Late foal - May 27 - which might mean this all comes a bit soon for him physically. Stepped up from a maiden two-year-old to a nice novices stakes victory at Sandown recently and looks a smart horse in the making. In an ideal world the Edward VII at Royal Ascot would be the target as this race comes soon enough. Not the trainer’s usual modus operandi but there is only one Derby.
Rating: ***
Current odds: 16/1

Auguste Rodin

Owner: Mrs J Magnier/M Tabor/D Smith/Westerberg  
Trainer: Aidan O’Brien 
Jockey: Ryan Moore
Has always been the apple of Aidan O’Brien’s eye since winning the Futurity, a key two-year-old trial, at Doncaster last October. Race has not worked out since though and he bombed out big style in the Guineas, beating two home and running more like one of his namesake’s statues. By Japanese super-sire Deep Impact, trip no problem and in the right hands but still a leap of faith to see him redeeming self here. Can’t have him at current price.
Rating: *** 
Current odds: 4/1

Auguste Rodin ridden by Ryan Moore winning the Vertem Futurity Trophy Stakes at Doncaster Racecourse - PA Wire/Nigel French
Auguste Rodin ridden by Ryan Moore winning the Vertem Futurity Trophy Stakes at Doncaster Racecourse - PA Wire/Nigel French

Dear My Friend

Owner: Middleham Park Racing XXV & Michael Lai 
Trainer: Charlie Johnston
Jockey: Andrea Atzeni
Warmed up for the season winning at Newcastle but well beaten in the Dante when no obvious excuses. If he goes to Epsom it will be as stable’s second string to Dubai Mile. Owned by a very successful syndicate operation - only one syndicate horse, Motivator, has ever won a Derby before and the last one trained in the north was Dante at the tail end of the War so stas against him.
Rating: **   
Current odds: 150/1

Dubai Mile

Owner: Ahmad Al Shaikh 
Trainer: Charlie Johnston
Jockey: Daniel Muscutt
Comes in vastly underrated and one of the value bets. Two-year-old form almost identical to The Foxes, won Group One Grand Criterium de Saint-Cloud over a mile and a quarter at two which suggests that even by Roaring Lion, his dam’s side has enough stamina in it to see him home over a mile and a half. Finished a good fifth in the Guineas, so close to one of racing’s great adages; ‘fourth in the Guineas, first in the Derby.’ Under radar, excellent chance.
Rating: ****    
Current odds: 20/1

King of Steel

Owner: Amo Racing 
Trainer: Roger Varian
Jockey: Kevin Stott
Not seen out this season. Well, he was actually but got upset in the stalls in the Dante and was withdrawn. We have to go back to Shaamit in 1996 for the last colt to win making his reappearance. Went straight from winning a maiden to the Futurity where he was well beaten by Auguste Rodin (and a few others). Owned by football super agent Kia Joorabchian - I expect he wishes he could transfer Military Order to his team. He has form though with Mojo Star finishing second at 50-1 two years ago but the first hurdle for this big colt will be getting in the stalls and coming out of the front of them rather than the back. 
Rating: *
Current odds: 66/1

Military Order

Owner: Godolphin 
Trainer: Charlie Appleby
Jockey: William Buick
Looks tailor-made and, in an open race, a worthy favourite. A full-brother to 2021 winner Adayar - 13 pairs of siblings have won it -  already proven over a mile and a half and, though a strapping strong sort, looked nifty enough scooting to the inside for a gap on the rail on the all-weather at Lingfield last time, to handle the uphill-down dale topography of Epsom. 
Rating: *****
Current odds: 9/2

Military Order ridden by jockey William Buick winning the Fitzdares Lingfield Derby Trial Stakes during the Derby and Oaks Trial Raceday at Lingfield Park - PA Wire/Steven Paston
Military Order ridden by jockey William Buick winning the Fitzdares Lingfield Derby Trial Stakes during the Derby and Oaks Trial Raceday at Lingfield Park - PA Wire/Steven Paston


Owner: Flaxman Stables 
Trainer: Sir Michael Stoute
Jockey: Richard Kingscote
The least experienced runner with just two starts under his belt. He was all dressed with nowhere to go in the Dante when he was persistently denied a run. That can sometimes be mis-leading but it might not be the worst thing to have ever happened given the short time period between races and would not be biggest surprise if he reversed Dante form with The Foxes and White Birch. Bred to stay, still a bit of an unknown quantity but could be very good. 
Rating: ****  
Current odds: 6/1

San Antonio

Owner: Mrs J Magnier/M Tabor/D Smith/Westerberg 
Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
Jockey: Wayne Lordan
Unbeaten in two starts this season which is something including the Dee Stakes, a recognised trial, over a mile and a quarter at Chester when he looked like he would get the Derby trip. By Dubawi, along with Frankel a great modern sire although he has yet to father a Derby winner. Not the worst of the Ballydoyle gang but needs to keep upping his game to figure.
Rating: *** 
Current odds: 22/1


Owner: Mr Mohamed Khalid Mohamed Abdulrahim 
Trainer: Mrs J. Harrington
Jockey: Shane Foley
On breeding, by a miler out of a miler who stretched it out to a mile and a quarter in the EP Taylor Stakes at Woodbine, he should need the assistance of a horsebox to get a mile and a half. But the further he went in the Leopardstown trial the better he went and that was on testing ground. Everyone says no one colt won a trial dominantly but he powered through the line three lengths clear. Circumstance has dictated he has only run on soft or softer. If good ground were to improve him which his action says it might, then he is your 12-1 winner.
Rating: *****  
Current odds: 12/1

The Foxes

Owner: King Power Racing
Trainer: Andrew Balding
Jockey: Oisin Murphy
In the same ownership as Leicester City so possibly some sporting cheer for them. Won the Dante well enough at York although if you were being super critical he had the run of the race. He and the runner-up White Birch had hard enough races and only have 16 days to recover and go again. Slight if about him staying the distance but solid chance. ****
Rating: ****
Current odds: 12/1

The Foxes ridden by jockey Oisin Murphy (right, blue and white silks) on their way to winning the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes - PA Wire/Mike Egerton
The Foxes ridden by jockey Oisin Murphy (right, blue and white silks) on their way to winning the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes - PA Wire/Mike Egerton


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.