BULLET FIRED UP FOR DERBY GLORY.
BULLET Train looks a value bet to give trainer Henry Cecil a fifth Derby winner at Epsom today.
The Sadler's Wells colt won the Lingfield Derby Trial in convincing fashion last month, a race that down the years has been used as a stepping stone for Epsom glory by the likes of Cecil's own Slip Anchor 25 years ago.
Bullet Train ran just once as a juvenile, when winning a Yarmouth maiden, and on his seasonal return was unlucky to lose his unbeaten tag to Myplacelater when just pegged back at Newbury over a trip short of his best.
Cecil's great Newmarket rival Sir Michael Stoute saddles Workforce who is bidding to break one of racing's oldest trends that no horse beaten in the Dante wins the Derby.
Workforce has only ever run twice and while he did have some difficulties with the bit when second at York, he was nevertheless around three lengths behind Aidan O'Brien's Cape Blanco.
The Ballydoyle boss is not even bringing that colt to Epsom, waiting instead for tomorrow's French Derby so that gesture alone does pose some questions as to the merits of the Dante form.
Equally, any Stoute runner in the Derby merits respect and so Workforce will not be short of support on the Downs.
As for the O'Brien stable, a season that was meant to be all about St Nicholas Abbey is now in danger of falling apart.
With the Guineas flop taken out of the Derby this week O'Brien has placed his faith in Jan Vermeer and Midas Touch.
The former won the Gallinule Stakes comfortably enough but that Curragh contest has never been viewed as a serious Derby warm-up.
At around 7/4 Jan Vermeer looks poor value and of O'Brien's three runners I have most interest in Midas Touch who put up a solid performance when winning the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown.
Frankie Dettori partners Goodwood winner Rewilding for Godolphin but the form of that race is nothing exceptional.
Bullet Train, at 7/1, gets my vote and Henry Cecil could be hoisting the stable flag to signify a Group One winner above his Warren Place home this evening.
Value bet: Bullet Train has a great chance of winning the Derby.