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)

people And here is why...
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
voicesBy the man who has
Arsene Wenger tried to sign Eden Hazard
footballAfter 18 years with Arsenal, here are 18 things he has still never done as the Gunners' manager
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson star in The Twilight Saga but will not be starring in the new Facebook mini-movies
tvKristen Stewart and Stephenie Meyer will choose female directrs
Arts and Entertainment
Hilary North's 'How My Life Has Changed', 2001
books(and not a Buzzfeed article in sight)
William Hague
people... when he called Hague the county's greatest
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey
comedyFirst national survey reveals Britain’s comedic tastes
Arts and Entertainment
Twerking girls: Miley Cyrus's video for 'Wrecking Ball'
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Ed Sheeran performs at his Amazon Front Row event on Tuesday 30 September
musicHe spotted PM at private gig
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SEN (SLD/PMLD) Teacher

£120 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you a quailed Teacher ...

General Cover Teacher

£120 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Currently looking for teachers ...

SEN Teaching Assistant Runcorn

£50 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: SEN Teaching Assistant EBD , Septemb...

QA/BA - Agile

£400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client are currently seekin...

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?