Racing fans are in for a treat on Saturday as Kameko bids to become the first horse since Camelot in 2012 to complete the 2,000 Guineas-Derby double when he faces off against hot favourite English King at Epsom.

Kameko showed his success in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes as a two-year-old was no fluke when he got the better of Wichita and Pinatubo to take the spoils in the first Classic of the season at Newmarket.

A son of Kitten’s Joy who races for Qatar Racing, like the much-missed Roaring Lion, Kameko will have to overcome doubts over whether he will be able to see out the 1m4f trip.

Kameko’s trainer, Andrew Balding, has the chance to emulate his father, Ian, 49 years after Mill Reef’s success in the Blue Riband.

Balding, speaking to British Champion Series, said: “There is obviously the stamina doubt over Kameko, but he’s very relaxed and that’s why we are inclined to give it a go. There’s a genetic question mark and it will be answered on Saturday.

“If he was a keen horse and difficult to settle, we would not be attempting this. It’s a combination of mentality and genetic make-up as to how far horses can stay. Any horse that wins the Vertem Futurity, as he did, is considered a potential Derby horse. He stayed the mile well as a two-year-old and also hit the line strong in the Guineas.”

Balding will also saddle Khalifa Sat in the Group 1, who was a gutsy winner of the Listed Cocked Hat Stakes on his seasonal reappearance last month. The son of Irish National Stud resident Free Eagle is the mount of Tom Marquand.

“Both horses did their last bits of work on Wednesday morning and I’m very happy with them,” Balding added. “As the race draws closer, I see more dangers every day but, fingers crossed, everything has gone well in the build-up.”

English King rocketed to the head of the Derby market following an easy success in the Listed Derby Trial last month. Owned by Bjorn Nielsen, English King is a son of 2012 Derby hero Camelot.

He will be a first runner in the race for Ed Walker, who is looking forward to seeing the colt take his chance. “I am massively excited by English King and I would not swap him for anything else,” Walker said.

“I know that sounds mad with a Guineas winner [Kameko] in the field, but I wouldn’t. I always vowed that I would not run a horse in the Derby if he didn’t deserve his place. I think he will have learnt a lot at Lingfield and hopefully he can cruise round Tattenham Corner.

“Whether he is good enough – we will find out, but he ticks an awful lot of boxes. I think that is why he is at the top of the market, because he ticks all the boxes.

“Anyone who says they don’t think about winning the Derby is surely lying. I have been thinking about it since I discovered horseracing when I was 13 years old, so of course you think about it in this position. It would be a great day if it happened.

“Frankie [Dettori] sat on him last week and just wanted to come down and have a feel of the horse. He really wanted to get inside the horse’s head, which is a mark of Frankie’s professionalism and he was very happy.”

Aidan O’Brien will launch a six-pronged attack on the Derby as he bids for a record eighth victory in the race. His squad is headed by Mogul, last seen finishing fourth to William Muir’s contender Pyledriver in the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot.

O’Brien’s other runners are Amhran Na Bhfiann, Mythical, Russian Emperor, Serpentine and Vatican City.

The 2020 Derby field is completed by Gold Maze, Highland Chief, Max Vega, Mohican Heights and Worthily.

Oaks takes centre stage

Before the Investec Derby, there is the small matter of the Investec Oaks, which for 2020 is taking place on the same day as the colts’ Classic owing to the rescheduling of the fixture list.

Love, the 1,000 Guineas heroine, is up against Ribblesdale Stakes winner Frankly Darling while there is also the Group 3 Princess Elizabeth Stakes on Epsom’s card.