Greatwood ready to justify Derby aspirations for the home defence

Cumani colt can prove Classic credentials against dominance of O’Brien contenders

The Roodee, Chester

Already battle lines seem clearly drawn for the Investec Derby. Entrenched on one side, following an exuberant success in his first Classic seven days ago, is a hot favourite in Dawn Approach.

Ranging opposite, meanwhile, is the heavy artillery of Ballydoyle. Yesterday Aidan O’Brien produced a second Chester trial winner in 24 hours, and tomorrow he saddles the colt perceived as his No 1 hope, Battle Of Marengo, in the Derrinstown Trial at Leopardstown. If Dawn Approach proves at all deficient in stamina, over the extra half-mile he will have to cover at Epsom compared with when winning the  2,000 Guineas, then O’Brien is guaranteed to have all escape routes covered.

It would be edifying, all the same, if a colt trained on home soil could somehow open up a new front on the Irish raiders. O’Brien will also be represented in the rehearsals at Lingfield today and York on Thursday, but both races could yet bring a Newmarket colt into the equation, thanks to the blue-chip syndicates of Highclere Thoroughbreds. Sir Alex Ferguson is among those increasingly excited about the reappearance of Telescope at York, while Greatwood (2.55) looks an ideal candidate for the Betfred Derby Trial this afternoon.

Like High-Rise, the last subsequent Derby winner to win this race, Greatwood is trained by Luca Cumani – a man too astute to have forfeited the lenient handicap mark he acquired in maidens without a sound reason. Sure enough, he travelled and finished powerfully when forcing a photo for a valuable sales race at the Craven meeting, and the winner, Windhoek, followed up at the same course last weekend. The extra distance today will definitely suit and Greatwood is considered an agile type, likely to feel at home round a course that bears an auspicious resemblance to the Epsom roller coaster. Cumani’s horses remain in good form, Mount Athos having made short work of the rest once Memphis Tennessee dropped himself out in the Boodles Diamond Ormonde Stakes at Chester yesterday. Cumani said that his priority for the rest of the campaign is another crack at the Melbourne Cup.

O’Brien takes on Greatwood with Nevis, who disappointed when fast-tracked from a maiden to tackle Dawn Approach last September. He is clearly entitled to a fresh start today, as O’Brien demonstrated when Magician – who arrived on the Roodee yesterday with a very similar profile – bolted up by four lengths in the Bet Victor Dee Stakes. Yet another son of Galileo, Magician showed rather more zip than had Ruler Of The World the previous day. But while the latter looks just the sort of thorough stayer who could expose any chinks in the stamina of Dawn Approach at Epsom, Magician could feasibly stay at yesterday’s intermediate trip for the Prix du Jockey-Club at Chantilly. Coral duly confined themselves to a quote of 20-1 against Magician, behind Dawn Approach on 6-4. Telescope is 5-1, Battle Of Marengo 11-2, and Ruler Of The World 8-1.

It seems significant that O’Brien has reserved Battle Of Marengo for the Derrinstown Trial, a race previously favoured for his sire, Galileo, and also High Chaparral on their way to Epsom. Though a comfortable winner in the mud on his reappearance over this course – form since fortified by the runner-up’s success at Sandown – Battle Of Marengo is thought likely to prove better again on faster going. While he only has four rivals, it will require a performance of authentic substance to see off Loch Garmon, an unbeaten stablemate of Dawn Approach. Trainer Jim Bolger promises that you will see no better-looking racehorse this year than this winner of a Group One in France last autumn, just eight days after his debut. It is also intriguing to see the sage John Oxx pitch Little White Cloud into this grade for his first start outside maiden company.

The peerless Galileo also has a strong candidate for the Oaks trial back at Lingfield, Secret Gesture having shown abundant promise for middle distances in maidens last year. Her trainer, Ralph Beckett, has a fine record with this type and is said to rate Secret Gesture (2.20) as superior to the filly who won the trial at Newmarket last Sunday, Talent.

Channel 4 also has cameras at Ascot, where the gelded Main Sequence (2.40) has been found an ideal opportunity to begin consolidating his achievements last year, notably when second in the Derby. And while the Betfred Victoria Cup might look as impossible as ever, Jamesie (3.50) should give you a big run for your money.

A week after finally winning a first British Classic, Richard Hughes heads to Longchamp tomorrow with two French ones in his sights. Olympic Glory, a winner over the track at the Arc meeting, steps up to a mile for the first time in the Poule d’Essai des Poulains, while Zurigha, likewise a winner on her reappearance, tackles the fillies’ version.

Turf Account

Chris McGrath's Nap

Corn Snow (5.05 Nottingham)

Next Best

War Lord (5.45 Thirsk)

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
techYahoo Japan launches service to delete your files and email your relatives when you die
Life and Style
Child's play: letting young people roam outdoors directly contradicts the current climate
lifeHow much independence should children have?
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book
booksFind out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
<p><strong>2008</strong></p>
<p>Troubled actor Robert Downey Jr cements his comeback from drug problems by bagging the lead role in Iron Man. Two further films follow</p>
filmRobert Downey Jr named Hollywood's highest paid actor for second year running
Life and Style
Dale Bolinger arranged to meet the girl via a fetish website
life
Property
Sign here, please: Magna Carta Island
propertyYours for a cool £4m
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Marketing Executive, London

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Charter Selection: This highly prestigious luxury b...

C++ Software Developer / Image Processing / 3D Visualisation

£45,000 to £55,000: IT Connections Ltd: C++ Software Developer / Image Process...

Java / J2EE Developer / Agile / Linux

£30,000 to £40,000: IT Connections Ltd: Java / J2EE Developer / Agile / Linux ...

Software Development Manager / Java / J2EE

£45,000 to £55,000: IT Connections Ltd: Software Development Manager / Java / ...

Day In a Page

Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

20 best days out for the summer holidays

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

All the wood’s a stage

Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

Self-preservation society

Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor