This race often turns out to be the best of the Derby trials and whatever wins here should be respected at Epsom. The race today revolves around High Definition who was Ante Post favourite for the Epsom Classic until he was ruled out of his intended prep race at Lingfield last weekend due to an abnormal blood count. High Definition ran twice as a 2YO and won both, it was the manner of his victories that really caught the eye. Anchored at the rear of the field he went from last to first in performances reminiscent of Dancing Brave in the Arc. He has an exceptionally long stride and can gain ground very quickly. He is a worthy Derby favourite and the question with him is can a horse who missed a race on Saturday be healthy enough to win a race on Thursday?
Mark Johnston has won this race twice in the last four years and runs Gear Up here. Gear Up has some of the best 2YO form on offer here and showed how well he stays when winning over 1M2F on heavy ground at Saint Cloud. He won twice over 7F here at York last season. He was well beaten in the Royal Lodge but seemed unsuited to Newmarket. Like many its Gear Ups first run as a 3YO and it is a trial, but he has to be respected.
Jim Bolger must always be respected when running a horse on these shores and he has Flying Visit entered here. He had a busy time as a 2YO running 11 times and winning twice. 11 runs is not normal preparation for a classic winner. He has already run this season when finishing second to Bolshoi Ballet who franked the form very impressively on Sunday and is now the Derby Favourite.
Hurricane Lane trained by Charlie Appleby is lightly raced with just two career runs both ending up with victories. He should be suited by the Good to Soft going here, he won on faster ground last time but this should suit better. Hurricane Lane cost £200.000 as a yearling and is improving but others here look to have a stronger profile, that said he his is stables choice for this key trial from many possible candidates.
High Definitions win at the Curragh last year was one of the most visually impressive performances I have seen for a while. However, he clearly had a setback last week he does represent top connections who already have the Derby favourite. The favourite has only managed to win the Dante once in the last ten years so I’m going to go with the Mark Johnstone runner Gear Up. His win at Saint Cloud was top class 2YO staying form, one of the beaten horses that day was Bolshoi Ballet the current Derby favourite! Jim Bolger can get a place with his Flying Visit.
GEAR UP (WIN)
FLYING VISIT (E/W)
written by Steve Marriott