Be under no illusion the Epsom 12f takes some getting. Unlike say the Arc de Triomphe where 10f horses can dominate you really do have to be a 12f horse if you are going to win the Derby. Part of the reason for this is the frantic pace often set. The nature of the race and the scramble for position on that first bend tends to guarantee this. The other factor is of course the track. That steep climb when no one can afford to go easy burns a lot of petrol.

With this in mind does race running style offer any clues to long term Derby profit ?. Splitting runners into one of four categories (Led, Tracked, Mid division, Held up) based on the style of their last run prior to the Derby produced an interesting set of results to blind 1pt bets

Held Up Bets 32 PL +44.8
Mid Div Bets 12 PL -12
Tracked Bets 49 PL -14.98
Led Bets 12 PL -12

The domination of profit around those horses likely to not get involved early is striking. The next obvious question is how would one fair in running. Adding 10% to the Betfair SP as a minimum ‘ask’ for an in running bet on all hold up horses, ie if its 10.0 on Betfair ask for 11.0, produced the following.

Held Up Bets 31 PL +53.5

Only one missing (unmatched) bet but an increase in profit. How far can we go ?

Asking for 20%

Bets 28 PL +55.5

Asking for 30%

Bets 28 PL +62.5

Asking for 40%

Bets 28 PL +69.4

I think you get the picture, such is the combative nature early on in the Derby you would have made decent returns asking for elevated prices in running on hold up horses. You can check out hold up horses on the day of the race via the SmarterSig pace figures where anything below 0.4 is deemed hold up.