Horse Racing: 2024 Kentucky Derby – Big Race Tips and Betting Preview

It isn’t just in the UK where there is top quality racing on Saturday as over in the States we have one of the biggest races of any calendar year when the focus turns to Louisiana for the 150th staging of the Kentucky Derby.

There is a packed card taking place at Churchill Downs with the Derby taking place just prior to midnight UK time. It is only the big race that we have eyes on though and we’re going into battle double handed.

23.57 Churchill Downs


It’s the 150th running of arguably the greatest horse race in the world, the Kentucky Derby.  The greatest 2 minutes in sport, the ‘run of the roses’, this year’s renewal looks pretty special although it’s likely to be run on a sloppy track over a mile & a quarter.  We have a maximum field of 20 & 2 horses are vying for favouritism.  Sierra Leone has a record of 3 from 4 with his only defeat when beaten a neck by Dornoch last year.  Since then, with the application of blinkers, he’s gone on to win a Grade 2 & most recently, the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes where he made up good late ground to pick up his rivals down the outside.   I have to say I’m not totally happy with his draw in 2 as he might get shuffled back & will need some luck in running.  On the flip side, Fierceness is drawn much wider in 16 & he comes here off the back of an easy 13 length win in the Florida Derby.  However, he dictated a slow tempo & the form looks suspect.  His worst career run was when beaten a long way at odds on when facing sloppy going for the only time.

Special Offer

Open up a Boylesports account during the flat season and bet £10 on any race to get £20 in bonuses! Click the image below to take advantage of this fantastic offer! 18+ T&Cs apply Gamble Aware.


Catching Freedom is the first of our 2 bets here.  He’s drawn in 4 & provided he gets away well, I think it’s a decent draw.  A winner of 4 of his 5 career starts, he won at this track on debut & also has a Grade 2 win, when landing the Louisiana Derby last time out in fine style.   He didn’t have the run of the race & had to come very wide off the turn but picked up really well.  The way he came home suggested this trip, on this going, would suit.  His only reverse came when 3rd to Sierra Leone on sloppy but he was close enough to believe he could turn the tables today.  Jockey booking catches the eye & I think he’s certain to run a big race at an each way price.

Just A Touch is the other I can’t leave out.  He’s only seen the track 3 times in his short career, winning once & twice finishing 2nd.  He’s progressed from run to run, stepping up in trip each time.  After winning easily on debut by over 4 lengths, he finished a close 2nd on sloppy at Aqueduct before running his best race to date when, like my other selection, finished behind Sierra Leone, this time in the Blue Grass.  He was only headed inside the last 100 yards & was just over a length behind the winner.  However, the gap back to the 3rd was over 3 lengths, suggesting it’s rock solid form.  He has a nice draw in 8 & at the price, he looks value to reverse the form with the favourite.


Back Catching Freedom (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 8.50 Paddy Power (⅕ odds 1-5)

Back Just A Touch (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 11.00 Paddy Power (⅕ odds 1-5)