Stats reveal how to pick the Epsom Derby winner – and which horses to avoid – in £1.125million race

THE Epsom Derby is one Flat racing's most prestigious events – and one of the hardest to call correctly.

This year, 7-4 chance Bolshoi Ballet seems the pick of most pundits.

But this is horse racing – and anything can happen.

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Luckily, the the Epsom Derby has been run since 1780, so in that time some key trends have developed that can help us pick a winner.

Here, SunSport looks at some of the eye-catching developments that could reveal the identity of this year's champion when the race is run this Saturday.

S marks the spot

Horses whose names begin with S have won the Derby 44 times – more than any other letter.

This is good news for 20-1 Sir Lamorak and 40-1 Southern Lights – and maybe even 200-1 Seattle Sound.

Eight is the magic number

The most successful horses have eight letters in their name.

They have combined for 46 wins in the Derby altogether.

Epsom Derby runners and odds

7-4 Bolshoi Ballet

5-1 High Definition

7-1 Mac Swiney, John Leeper

10-1 Mohaafeth, Hurricane Lane

12-1 Third Realm

14-1 Van Gogh

20-1 Sir Lamorak

25-1 Youth Spirit, One Ruler

33-1 Gear Up, Lone Eagle, Adayar, The Mediterranean

40-1 Southern Lights

50-1 Kyprios

66-1 Mojo Star

200-1 Seattle Sound

Great news for 25-1 shot One Ruler and 66-1 outsider Mojo Star.

Suits you, Sir

Eight horses with the prefix Sir have won the race, most recently Sir Percy in 2006.

Only one runner in this year's contest boasts such a posh title, and it is 20-1 chance Sir Lamorak.

Big winners

Sue Magnier and Michael Tabor have, along with other co-owners, teamed up to record nine Derby winners for their Coolmore operation.

They own big favourite Bolshoi Ballet this year and are looking likely to make it a perfect 10.

For a sign of their domination, should they get to 10 then that would be double the tally of the next most successful owner.

Three owners have won the Derby five times, the most recent being the fourth Aga Khan, whose five victories included one with the legendary Shergar in 1981.

Top trainer

One name stands head and shoulders above the others when it comes to the Epsom Derby: Aidan O'Brien.

The Irishman has won the race eight times since 2001.

Among his charges this year are Bolshoi Ballet, 5-1 second favourite High Definition, 14-1 chance Van Gogh, 20-1 Sir Lamorak, 33-1 The Mediterranean and 50-1 Kyprios.

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