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Ruler to Approach Derby in fine form

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Ruler Of The World ridden by Ryan Moore wins The MBNA Chester Vase , during day two of the Boodles May Festival at Chester Racecourse, Chester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday May 9, 2013. See PA story RACING Chester. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

Ruler Of The World ridden by Ryan Moore wins The MBNA Chester Vase , during day two of the Boodles May Festival at Chester Racecourse, Chester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday May 9, 2013. See PA story RACING Chester. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

Ruler Of The World ridden by Ryan Moore wins The MBNA Chester Vase , during day two of the Boodles May Festival at Chester Racecourse, Chester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday May 9, 2013. See PA story RACING Chester. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

WE have spent the week admiring the performance and substance of Dawn Approach's 2000 Guineas win and the fact that, barring incident, he is going to leave the Epsom stalls on the first day of next month as the 2013 Derby favourite.

However, while Jim Bolger's colt staked his claim towards Epsom, albeit with concerns from the trainer about his ability to get the trip, we awaited something to emerge from the pack and impersonate a challenger.

This was always going to be a big week for Derby trials, with Chester staging a couple of pointers, the Lingfield Derby Trial taking place tomorrow, the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown and the French 2000 Guineas both taking place on Sunday, and next week at York we have the Dante.

First up, Chester, and although yesterday's Chester Vase hasn't produced an Epsom Derby winner since Shergar in 1981, Aidan O'Brien's Ruler Of The World looked a colt who could question any doubts over Dawn Approach getting the 1m4f trip.

 

Ridden

Ruler Of The World was ridden by Ryan Moore and when asked to go about his business he sprinted away from the field, and although those behind would be a long way off the capabilities of Dawn Approach, it is now two from two for Ruler Of The World, who himself is a half-brother to O'Brien's multiple Group One winner Duke Of Marmalade.

Ryan Moore said immediately afterwards: "He done it nicely and the race worked out nicely for him.

"He is still a little green, but once I grabbed hold of him, he lengthened really well and he will learn a lot from running in this race and going around here will have done him the world of good."

Ruler Of The World was a 33/1 shot for the Derby when Dawn Approach leapfrogged the rest into favouritism, but now he is as short as 6/1 and a best price 14/1 with Ladbrokes although it is unlikely those odds will be available come this evening.

Representing Coolmore at Chester yesterday was Paul Smith, who said: "Aidan thinks quite a lot of him and he's been working well. We are delighted with him."

After such a ripple through the Derby market, it will be interesting to see what effect the winner of tomorrow's Lingfield race will have on the betting.

Nevis is a big price for the Derby and on all his juvenile form is rightly so as on a meeting with Dawn Approach in Group One company last season, he has 14 lengths to find.

Greatwood is probably the pick of this trial for the in-form Luca Cumani and the unstoppable Kieren Fallon, but it would be a massive surprise if the Derby winner was running in this particular trial and I hope there isn't a typical bookmaker over-reaction following this race.

It would be much more likely that if anything is going to significantly unsettle the Derby market further it will be the Derrinstown winner, which most expect will be O'Brien's Battle Of Marengo.

O'Brien will be looking to win the Leopardstown race for the 10th time with the colt who is unbeaten in his last four, only suffering defeat on his debut and is generally the second favourite behind Dawn Approach.

It will be an interesting contest though as Jim Bolger is double-handed at the entry stage of the Derrinstown with Loch Gorman only rated a pound lower than Battle Of Marengo.

Indeed, another well up there with Battle Of Marengo and Loch Gorman on ratings is Andy Oliver's First Cornerstone who will add further intrigue to the race as he is just four-pounds shy of the O'Brien horse and was less than four lengths off the highly regarded but absent Kingsbarns last season.

Plans of what O'Brien may run in the Dante are unlikely to be made clearer until Sunday; if Indian Chief was to line up he may be an interesting runner.

The Derby market as it is now is all but certain to be different on Monday, but perched on the very top will remain Dawn Approach, and something will have to put up an unbelievably impressive performance to even come near the current market leader.


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