Battle Of Marengo became Aidan O’Brien’s tenth Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial winner on Sunday and he spearheads the trainer’s annual multi-pronged assault on Epsom, in third place in the betting market behind 2,000 Guineas winner Dawn Approach and Telescope for the Investec Derby.
The latter, being primed by the resurgent Sir Michael Stoute, who boasts the finest Derby record of all current trainers with five winners to his credit, heads to Thursday’s Dante Stakes, in which he will face his fellow Highclere Thoroughbred Racing representative Greatwood and O’Brien’s Indian Chief among others.
Ballydoyle’s Ruler Of The World and Magician each staked their claim with convincing wins in the Chester Vase and Dee Stakes last week, while Nevis found the descent from Lingfield’s peak no trouble when claiming Saturday’s Derby Trial.
A son of Dansili out of the Irish Oaks winner Moonstone, Nevis is one of the few near the fore in the betting market not to descend from Galileo. The champion sire is represented by his sons Mars, Battle Of Marengo, Telescope, Rule Of The World and Magician, while his grandson Dawn Approach is the son of Galileo’s first Derby winner New Approach.
The late Monsun looks set to have a runner in Ocovango, who, like fellow French-trained Pour Moi, the winner in 2011, is planning a sneak preview of Epsom’s weird hills and camber during a stretch out on the morning of Breakfast With The Stars on Thursday, May 23. Greatwood, who swerved Lingfield’s Derby Trial as the ground deteriorated and now heads to York, is another representative of this sireline being by Monson’s son Manduro. He is not without a dose of Gaileo, however, as he is the sire of his dam Gaze, a three-parts-sister to Irish Derby winner Fame And Glory.
The main chances for Montjeu, who died in 2012, and whose Derby record outstrips all his contemporaries in the sire ranks, look to be Indian Chief and Festive Cheer, who finished third to Tableaux in Sunday’s Prix Hocquart.