The countdown to the 2018 Kentucky Derby, on Saturday, May 5, is underway and it could be our lucky year with an Irish horse named as a favorite.  

Churchill Downs could have a 2018 Irish Kentucky Derby winner with Aidan O’Brien’s Mendelssohn named as one of the four current favorites to be first past the post.

The colt had his odds cut to become one of the horses expected to win the Kentucky Derby in 2018 after a stunning 18-length victory at the UAE Derby on March 31. BetVictor now has Mendelssohn as 8-1 co-favorite of four, looking forward to his intended appearance on Saturday, May 5.

“Obviously the next time it’s going to be a far tougher question, there’s no doubt about that, but we’re very happy with what he’s done and I still feel he will get better,” said jockey Ryan Moore of Mendelssohn's Kentucky Derby prospects after March’s Dubai race victory.

Tales from the Crib: Mendelssohn ➡️

— Kentucky Derby (@KentuckyDerby) April 6, 2018

“He’s got the pedigree and the looks to go with the form that he’s producing, so he’s a very exciting horse.”

Read more: Mystery of Shergar the champion horse who was kidnapped in Ireland

According to the Baltimore Sun, Mendelssohn should be treated as something of a wildcard, however, despite his Irish trainer O’Brien being one of the best in the world.

“We’ve learned to be skeptical of Derby contenders coming off superficially impressive victories in Dubai,” writes Childs Walker.

Cool Dude Mendelssohn the "you lookin at me punk" look

Picture Courtesy of @KentuckyDerby

— AIDANOBRIENFANSITE (@aobrienfansite) April 7, 2018

“But Mendelssohn opened a lot of eyes with the 106 Beyer Speed Figure he earned for his March 31 romp (by 18½ lengths) in the UAE Derby. His trainer, Irishman Aidan O’Brien, is one of the best in the world. And he will be the rare international horse treated as a serious threat at Churchill Downs.”

Read more: The faces and chases at Ireland’s oldest horse fair

Other top contenders for the prize include Justify, Audible, Bolt d’Oro, Magnum Moon, Good Magic, Vino Rosso, Noble Indy, Solomini, and Quip.

I don't know if you agree, but this is one heckuva horse race shaping-up in the @KentuckyDerby. For starters...

1. Justify
2. Bolt d'Oro
3. Audible
4. Mendelssohn
5. Magnum Moon
6. Good Magic
7. Vino Russo
8. Enticed

— Travis Stone (@TravisStone) April 7, 2018

Who will you be putting your money on at the 2018 Kentucky Derby? Let us know in the comments section below.

H/T: BetVictor