Lingfield hosts Classic Trials on Saturday and, in the one for the Epsom Derby over an extended 1m 3f (14:30), Irish raider Anthony Van Dyck is 15lb clear of his nine rivals on ratings.
That makes the Aidan O’Brien trained Galileo colt impossible to oppose at 5/4 with William Hill.
Anthony Van Dyck quickly went about notching a hat-trick as a juvenile, progressing to score by half-a-length from Christmas in the 7f Group 2 Futurity Stakes.
He then chased home the impressive Quorto at the highest level as a 1 1/4 lengths runner-up in the Vincent O’Brien National also at The Curragh.
While later a four-length third to Too Darn Hot in the Group 1 Dewhurst on the Rowley Mile at Newmarket, it is worth forgiving Anthony Van Dyck his last run as a two-year-old.
That came over a mile at the Breeders’ Cup in the Juvenile Turf race at Churchill Downs.
It was at the end of a long, hard season and – as he got a mile as a juvenile – Anthony Van Dyck is bred to come into his own stepping up in trip this season.
Nothing else in this line-up can boast the same top class form he’s demonstrated, and on that basis he should be enhancing his Classic claims comfortably.
Cap Francais a forecast fancy, Nate The Great each-way value
The obvious one to chase Anthony Van Dyck home for the forecast is Cap Francais at 4/1 with BetVictor. Trained by Ed Walker, the Frankel colt won two novice events over a mile as a juvenile.
Cap Francais was then a pressing half-a-length runner-up to Cape Of Good Hope in Epsom’s similar grade Blue Riband Trial over 1m 2f.
The way in which he finished that reappearance run off suggests the extra furlong or so of this is sure to suit.
While the lightly-raced Eagles By Day has form over further after winning easily at Salisbury by seven lengths, and the in-form William Haggas runner Pablo Escobarr both have claims, the each-way value could be Nate The Great.
This Archie Watson inmate placed four times at the Listed level of this as a juvenile, including when beaten just 1 1/4 lengths in third behind Norway in the Zetland Stakes over 1m 2f.
The winner was far from disgraced when chasing home Sir Dragonet in the Group 3 Chester Vase at the May Festival earlier in the week.
That gives the form a solid look in relation to this Derby Trial and, as he’s by Nathaniel, the step up in trip is sure to suit Nate The Great.
At 14/1 with 888Sport, he looks well worth taking each-way to hit the frame.
Nate The Great is preferred to an unexposed rival in Eagles By Day due to his consistency in black type races. Pablo Escobarr, meanwhile, has seen the form of his last run take a knock.
He gave 7lb to Living Legend in a Bath handicap and went down all guns blazing by a short-head, but the winner has since only finished fourth in the Dee Stakes at Chester.
Wide-open look to Oaks Trial
The other Listed race over the same distance is the Oaks Trial (13:55), and it’s a far more competitive event than the colts’ contest.
Many fillies on show are unexposed including Frankellina. Trained by Haggas, this daughter of Frankel score by a head on her only start.
Frankellina saw the form franked by the fifth home Cafe Espresso, who came out and won both of her first two starts this season. She then chased home subsequent Cheshire Oaks heroine Mehdaayih, now a leading Classic contender herself.
At a standout 3/1 with William Hill, Frankellina is the least exposed in the line-up and open to any amount of further progress.
Others have claims, including Tauteke for in-form trainer Roger Varian, and this Sea The Stars filly progressed in two All-Weather runs last season scoring by a head over a mile at Chelmsford.
The runner-up, So High, has come out and won over 1m 4f this term. Coupled with her own stamina-laden pedigree, that suggests Tauteke will also benefit from stepping up and is 3/1 with Betfair to follow-up.
A third market principal is Anapurna, one of two engaged for John Gosden. Frankie Dettori’s mount ran out a five-length victor over Dawn Crusade in a 1m 2f All-Weather maiden at this venue.
Using the runner-up as a form marker, Coral’s 7/2 chance Anapurna is preferred to stable companion Elisheba, who is available at four times that price in places.
Anapurna is also by the mighty Frankel and so is King Power, who chased home Epsom Oaks hopeful Sparkle Roll over 1m 2f at Sandown last time out.
She was only beaten a couple of lengths and, at 6/1 with Paddy Power, could come on for the run.
Pretty Baby the Chartwell choice
Later on the card is the Group 3 Chartwell Fillies’ Stakes (15:40), and Pretty Baby looks to bring leading form claims into this 7f event for Haggas.
This four-year-old daughter of Orpen won three of her four starts last season. They include when holding the re-opposing Dancing Star by a neck in the similar grade Oak Tree Stakes over this distance at Glorious Goodwood.
That confirmed previous form from the Summer Stakes at York and, although the runner-up now meets her on 1lb better terms, that rival is the oldest in this eight-runner field and open to the least improvement.
Pretty Baby thus looks well worth a wager at 5/2 with Bethard, because she isn’t penalised for her Group 3 success.
The same cannot be said for Dancing Star, who later advertised the Goodwood form by landing the similar grade Sceptre Stakes at Doncaster.
Andrew Balding’s six-year-old bested Eirene, who re-opposes here, by three-quarters of a length.
Again, Dancing Star meets an old rival on 1lb better terms here, but officially has as much to find on official figures with Pretty Baby before penalties.
That makes Pretty Baby the one to be on and the Dean Ivory trained four-year-old Eirene solid each-way value at 7/1 with Betway.
This is because she has had the benefit of a couple of runs to bring on her race fitness.
French raider Devant gets weight all-round as a three-year-old, meanwhile, but is also penalised for her juvenile Group 3 success.
It’s a case of the softer the better for Gerald Mosse’s mount, but the 9lb she receives is handy. Further rain will surely see the standout 6/1 with Ladbrokes go and, on that basis, Devant cannot be discounted either.