The UK’s richest Flat race takes centre stage at Epsom on Saturday, and Pat Cooney believes Military Order can reign supreme in the Derby.
He will be up against a competitive field, which includes current favourite Auguste Rodin, Dante winner The Foxes and Chester Vase champion Arrest.
Pat is impressed with the profile of Military Order and believes that he can follow in the footsteps of the 2021 winner, Adayar.
Pat Cooney said: “His brother Adayar won this race two years ago for the same connections, and looking at their respective CVs coming into Epsom, you have to say that Military Order has already achieved more going into this one than Adayar had going into his race.
“He’s got a good progressive profile and he’s already won over a mile and a half, so he looks like he’s going to run a rock solid race and he brings a good level of form to the table.
“I think he’s probably my number one selection for the race and that’s pretty much because I can find flaws in some of the rest of them.”
While some of the other candidates for the Epsom Derby have credible claims, Pat believes there are some question marks compared to Military Order.
“Auguste Rodin was everyone’s idea of a Derby winner after his Racing Post Trophy win as a two-year-old, but he was desperately disappointing at Newmarket.
“He was always talked about as being a serious Derby contender and there has been plenty of money for this horse as well.
“Another one to throw into the hat is Arrest, Frankie Dettori’s last ever ride in the Espom Derby. As a result of that, he’s going to be hugely popular on the day.
“A reservation with him is that he’s got a very high knee action, and you would think he would always need to be given the ground to be at his best.
“The Foxes won the Dante and if you’ve won the Dante you’ve normally got the best recent form heading into Epsom.
“But the trip is the unknown for him, connections aren’t sure themselves whether he’ll go the mile and a half. But it’s the Derby, its an open-looking Derby, why not roll the dice?
“If he doesn’t stay, he can drop back and win plenty of other races.”
Sir Michael Stoute has confirmed that Passenger has been supplemented for the race at a cost of £85,000.
He went off as favourite for the Dante and came third, and Pat believes the decision to supplement the three-year-old after two starts is an intriguing one.
“The unlucky horse in the Dante was Passenger, who went into everybody’s notebooks that day.
“He had a completely luckless journey and it’s very rare that Sir Michael Stoute would run a horse after just two runs in an Epsom Derby.
“It’s hugely significant that connections have supplemented him for the race. He won the Wood Ditton that we sponsored at Newmarket back in April and was very impressive.
“Can a horse win an Epsom Derby after just two runs? It has happened before but a lot more have been beat than have won it."