LEGENDARY jockey Mick Kinane reckons Bolshoi Ballet can win the Derby – 20 years after he rode the horse's dad Galileo to Epsom glory.
Kinane, 62, partnered Galileo to an impressive Derby success in 2001, and the super stallion has since sired five winners of the historic Classic.
His son Bolshoi Ballet is the hot 15-8 favourite with Paddy Power for the Derby, which takes place on June 5.
And he has followed the same route to Epsom as his father, having won the Ballysax and Derrinstown in recent weeks.
And Kinane, who also won the Derby on Sea The Stars in 2009, thinks the Aidan O'Brien-trained colt will be very tough to beat.
He said: “Bolshoi Ballet has taken the route Galileo took all those years ago by taking in both the Ballysax and Derrinstown, which are strong Epsom trials.
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“Sometimes the winners might not quite win The Derby but they will always be in the fight at Epsom and are always at the forefront of Ballydoyle runners in the race.
“Epsom is tricky and you just never know how it is going to work out but he would be my pick to win the race.
“He looks like a very easy horse for Ryan (Moore) to ride. He can ride him in front, he can drop him in. The horse seems to be happy with whatever he wants to do.
“He seems to be a very intelligent horse and the type of horse you would love on your side at Epsom.
“Things can change dramatically and a lot of horses are overawed by the track and hustle bustle of it.
"He does appear to have the mind-set of a horse that will handle The Derby.”
But Kinane reckons it's a race with plenty of depth – and he said John Leeper and Hurricane Lane are big dangers to Bolshoi Ballet.
He added: “I like Ed Dunlop’s colt John Leeper, out of Snow Fairy, it is nice to see him there and you would hope he would be a contender.
“I like the Dante winner Hurricane Lane and I think if the ground was on the easy side, he could be a major player as he has done everything asked of him so far.
“I think it could be a good race this year. Roger Varian’s horse that won at Lingfield (Third Realm) won quite well and if a horse acts at Lingfield, you know they will act at Epsom which is a huge plus factor.
"It looks like it is going to be a very exciting race.”
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