Victory for John Gosden star Cracksman at York this week, could very well see him made favourite for the Derby, according to bookmakers.
Aidan O’Brien’s trained duo Churchill and Cliffs of Moher are currently jostling for favouritism for the big Epsom showdown next month.
But it is Cracksman, a son of the legend Frankel and owned by diamond dealer Anthony Oppenheimer, who could arrive on the downs as the one to beat.
A winner at Newmarket first time out last year and a winner at Epsom in his Derby Trial just a few weeks ago, he will look to enhance his reputation further this week if he can win in the Dante Stakes on Thursday at York.
But Gosden refuses to get too carried away and said: “Cracksman has only had two runs in his life. The Dante is closer to the Derby than usual due to a late Easter.
“We’ve lost a week, which is not helpful. On the other hand he needs the experience to race if we are even to consider Epsom.
“It’s the smartest trial but I still see it as a trial. He came out of his last race and he learnt a lot; he has been in good order since and ate well.”
“We have eased Cliffs Of Moher back out to 5/1 joint favourite from 4/1 on the back of support for both Cracksman and Crystal Ocean on Monday,” BoyleSport’s spokesman Liam Glynn confirmed.
“Come Thursday evening if Cracksman can impress in the Dante Stakes we may well see him challenge both Churchill and Cliffs Of Moher for favouritism or see the son of Frankel take over as Derby favourite should he impress at the Yorkshire venue.”