Bonfire is the leading hope of trainer Andrew Balding, with bookies making him a leading fancy in the betting for the Epsom Derby. The son of Manduro raced twice as a 2-year-old, winning on debut when 7/2 favourite at Salisbury before putting in a gallant effort to finish third in the Group One Criterion Stakes over a mile, also at Salisbury.
Highclere trainer Andrew Balding is still searching for his first Derby victor, although he has tasted significant success on the Downs before, winning the 2003 Epsom Oaks with Casual Look.
Balding looks to have a decent chance of claiming a first Derby winner, particularly after Bonfire landed the key Derby Trial, The Dante Stakes, on his only start as a 3-year-old. The colt won the Group Two at York in dramatic fashion, beating Ekithaam, at York and the Dante has often proved to be a key indicator of Derby form.
|13-1||Bonfire||133||Andrew Balding||Jimmy Fortune||5/1|
VERDICT: Impressive winner of Dante Stakes, which has produced its fair share of Derby winners in the past, and the step up to a mile and a quarter shouldn't be a problem