About the only trainer radiating confidence in the seven-runner Derby trial is Glory Of Dancer's man, Paul Kelleway, and he would fancy his chances even if he was putting his saddle on a frog.
The rudely short favourite today is Peter Chapple-Hyam's Nash House, who is an amazing 5-1 for the Derby despite his sole achievement being a maiden win at Newbury. To back him is like lumping on the chap who wins the dad's race at school sports day on his way to Atlanta.
Chapple-Hyam, for one, thinks Nash House's price a touch unsporting. "It's ridiculous," he said. "He's fit and fresh and well but he's only a baby even if he's a flipping good one.
"Glory Of Dancer has won a Group One and even though it may have been in Italy [the Gran Criterium] it was still a Group One. Mine is not a punting price for me and you have to remember this is not the Derby."
Those who are expected to give Nash House some sort of contest include Team Cecil in the shape of Storm Trooper and Dushyantor. In giving full bulletins on the pair the Newmarket trainer seemed to suggest the former was the better prepared for this occasion but he parked someway short of announcing him the likely winner.
"Storm Trooper is working well and I'm very pleased with him," Cecil said. "You can forget the Guineas because that was a farce. I'm not saying that a good horse didn't win it but they went very fast and the ground was funny down the middle. The mile was a bit on the sharp side for my horse and this is more his trip."
Dushyantor, like his stablemate and 1,000 Guineas winner Bosra Sham, has read all the magazines at the Newmarket pedicure clinic. "He's got very brittle feet and in fact he's got three-quarter cracks at the moment," Cecil said. "I'm doing the same thing with Dushyantor that I did with Commander In Chief [his half-brother and 1993 Derby winner], bringing him back in trip after he won over a mile and half first time up.
"It made more more sense to run in the Dante than to give 8lb away in the Glasgow Stakes and he'll come on for this. It's more education than anything else."
With so many disclaimers flying about it may pay to stick with Glory Of Dancer (next best 3.40), who not only has the form from last year but also this on his second in the Classic Trial at Sandown.
Elsewhere, there is a good opportunity for MONAASSIB (nap 2.35), whose trainer, Ed Dunlop, will have to get the rope ladder down from his cloud to collect his trophy after winning the French 1,000 Guineas with Ta Rib on Sunday. There are prospects also with Insider Trader (3.05) and Indian Spark (4.10), who won the Brocklesby at Doncaster.Reuse content