Bullet Train unlikely to have Epsom on timetable
If the Derby market is to spark into life the blue touch-paper moment could come this afternoon, will more likely be on Thursday but did not arrive yesterday. Within minutes of Bullet Train winning the trial at Lingfield, the course that most closely resembles Epsom's idiosyncratic contours, the immediate action of successful trainer Henry Cecil was to dampen any spluttering squibs.
"Yes, he is getting better," he said of the colt, "but he's got to go on improving for us to even consider the Derby. I'm not counting Epsom out but he's not by any means a definite runner."
Bullet Train, one of the final crop of stallion legend Sadler's Wells, has apparently been a slow learner at home and yesterday's performance had some style, even if its substance could be questioned. Tom Queally, in the saddle, set a steady pace tracked by the Aidan O'Brien raider Captain James Cook and 6-4 favourite Desert Myth. His task was made easier under grim circumstances; Captain James Cook's right foreleg snapped as he descended the turn into the straight and the injury was fatal. Bullet Train was left clear and, with Desert Myth disappointing, had a relatively simple task to beat fully exposed Dubawi Phantom two and a quarter lengths. Queally liked what he felt under him. "I was impressed with the way he stretched and quickened," he said, "and he's only going to get better."
Bullet Train now has four weeks to prove himself worthy of a place in the Derby field and bookmakers ignored Cecil's warnings, introducing the colt into the market at around 10-1. Captain James Cook's stablemate St Nicholas Abbey remains at the head of the market despite being only sixth in the 2,000 Guineas and today at Leopardstown two more from Ballydoyle – Midas Touch and At First Sight – present their credentials.
The pair comprise half the field in Ireland's top Derby trial but the race that will properly shape the market is likely to be Thursday's Dante Stakes at York, the target of such as Epsom second favourite Workforce, Chabal, Coordinated Cut and Cape Blanco.
Bullet Train may have introduced himself as a possible for one Epsom Classic but his stablemate Timepiece has almost certainly removed herself from the reckoning for the other, the Oaks, with her second successive disappointing performance. The filly was odds-on for the Lingfield Trial but had no answer when Dyna Waltz came storming past to score by a length.
Stamina is the John Gosden-trained daughter of Dynaformer's long suit, but jockey Ryan Moore was under-whelmed by the victory. He said: "She tries hard but all she did was stay on past two tired horses." Timepiece has been replaced at the head of the Oaks market at a general 7-1 by Rumoush, a staying-on seventh in last week's unsatisfactory 1,000 Guineas.
Latest in Sport
Pedro to Manchester United: Transfer news live - Angel Di Maria to PSG, John Stones to Chelsea, £100m Gareth Bale bid
Watch Petr Cech, Francis Coquelin, Olivier Giroud and Mathieu Debuchy photobomb Arsenal fans
Premier League 2015/16 preview: Club-by-club guide to the new season
Can Arsenal win the Premier League? Is Raheem Sterling the answer to Man City's problems? Can anything stop Chelsea?
Rowdy Roddy Piper dies: Watch the entire WWE locker room pay tribute to wrestling legend in touching 10-bell salute on Raw
- 2 Porn block in India: hundreds of sexual websites banned, internet outraged
- 4 Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
- 5 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
Chris Leslie: Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity agenda will harm the poor, says Labour shadow Chancellor
Landlords renting properties to illegal immigrants to face up to five years in prison
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'
Labour leadership race: Jeremy Corbyn could be the next Prime Minister, says Ken Clarke
£350 p/d (Contract): Guru Careers: A Software Developer / Web Developer (PHP /...
£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£16000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award winning Property Man...
£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...