European layers William Hill have reported strong interest in the Todd Pletcher trained Dunkirk for the Kentucky Derby. The bookmakers were offering odds of 14-1 about the unbeaten three year old winning the first leg of the triple crown, but the money they saw on Thursday has forced the firm to cut him to 11-1 clear favourite for the race.
Dunkirk is expected to start his campaign in the Florida Derby on the 28th of March and he may have to win that race to qualify for the Kentucky Derby.
The recent Louisiana Derby winner Friesan Fire, The San Felipe Stakes winner Pioneer Of The Nile and the Fountain of Youth Stakes scorer Quality Road are next in the betting on 12-1.
Meanwhile, The John Gosden-trained three-year-old Mafaaz showed a willing attitude to win the inaugural running of the Kentucky Derby Challenge Stakes at Kempton Park on Wednesday. The win guarantees Mafaaz a starting berth at Churchill Downs and he is now rated a 33-1 shot by William Hill to win the Kentucky contest.
William Hill spokesman Tony Kenny commented “We’ve seen solid support for Dunkirk over the last 24 hours and that interest has forced us to cut three points off his Derby price”
Kentucky Derby: (William Hill Bet) 11-1 Dunkirk (from 14-1), 12-1 Friesan Fire, Pioneer of the Nile, Quality Road, The Pamplemousse, 14-1 I Want Revenge, Old Fashioned, 20-1 Brother Keith, Charitable Man, Desert Party, Donativum, Professor Z, Theregosjojo, 25-1 Flat Out, Square Eddie, Win Willy 33-1 Chocolate Candy, Mafaaz (first show), Munnings 40-1 Bar (EW 1/5 1,2,3)
Note: a US Racebook offering odds on the Kentucky Derby is PlayersOnly