Bookmakers report flurry of bets on Rip Van Winkle

Aidan O'Brien's Rip Van Winkle has been the subject of a monster gamble for the Investec Derby at Epsom next month.

Aidan O'Brien's Rip Van Winkle has been the subject of a monster gamble for the Investec Derby at Epsom next month.

The Galileo colt finished a close-up fourth on his seasonal reappearance in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket earlier this month but has still to tackle any distance further than a mile.

Guineas winner Sea The Stars and Rip Van Winkle's stablemate Fame And Glory are still towards the head of the market, but today's support has led some bookmakers to believe Rip Van Winkle could be the number one hope for Ballydoyle.

Blue Square now go as short as 6-1 from 10-1 about his Derby prospects, while Paddy Power offer the same price from 8-1.

William Hill offer 7-1, while Coral have slashed him to just 11-2 from 11-1.

Coral spokesman Simon Clare said: "This is the most significant gamble on the Derby since we started betting 12 months ago, and it all points to Rip Van Winkle potentially being the Ballydoyle number one Derby contender.

"At the very least it suggests that Rip Van Winkle is in good shape and expected to run well, and as a result we have eased Sea The Stars and Fame And Glory to get more of them in the book."

Charlie McCann of Stan James added: "Earlier in the week it looked long odds-on that stable jockey Johnny Murtagh would be aboard Fame And Glory at Epsom, but the money in recent days has been for Rip Van Winkle.

"It would be a surprise if Murtagh decided not to partner the impressive Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial winner but perhaps it is not as cut and dried as once seemed the case."

Investec Derby

Coral bet: 7-2 Sea The Stars, 7-2 Fame And Glory, 11-2 Rip Van Winkle, 6-1 Black Bear Island, 7-1 Gam Amhras, 12-1 Freemantle, Crowded House, 16-1 Kite Wood, Age Of Aquarius, 20-1 Masterofthehorse, 25-1 bar.

Stan James bet: 9-4 Fame And Glory, 3-1 Sea The Stars, 6-1 Rip Van Winkle, 7-1 Gan Amhras, 8-1 Black Bear Island, 14-1 Freemantle, 16-1 Crowded House, 16-1 Masterofthehorse, 20-1 Golden Sword, 25-1 bar.

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