Michael Stoute says he is fast running out of options for the well-regarded Sea Moon, which misses tomorrow's Chester Vase because of a dirty scope.
The colt is 16/1 for the Epsom Derby with most bookmakers, but this setback could prove costly. On the other hand, stablemate Carlton House remains on target to make his seasonal debut in York's Dante Stakes a week tomorrow.
Sea Moon also holds entries not only in the Dante and the Derby, but in Royal Ascot's King Edward VII Stakes and the Irish Derby as well. His future remains a matter of how quickly the colt can regain his pitch in training.
"We're hoping to get him back on track, but are not confident of doing so. There are not many alternatives available once we've had Chester and York," said Stoute. "But we're keen to run Carlton House in the Dante."
The Dante appears to be shaping as the strongest Derby trial, particularly as the Khalid Abdulla-owned World Domination, trained by Henry Cecil, is on course to take his chance on Knavesmire as well.
Tomorrow's Chester Vase has attracted five runners, including Barry Hills' Slumber, which won the Derby Trial at Epsom last month. Ryan Moore will be aboard Treasure Beach for Aidan O'Brien.
O'Brien is responsible for eight of the 13 entries in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown, due to be run on Sunday -- Seville, Recital, Exodus, Last Crusade, Memphis Tennessee, Obligation, Pirateer and Regent Street.
A suitably competitive field has assembled today for the Chester Cup. Overturn is ideally drawn for a front-runner, but preference is for Gordon Elliott's Dirar (2.55).
The first Classic trial of the meeting is the Weatherbys Bank Cheshire Oaks, where it looks significant that O'Brien's Wonder Of Wonders (2.20) is shipped over just six days after her maiden win. (© Daily Telegraph, London)