Bunker books Group One ticket
Bunker is set to move up in grade in the autumn after his game Listed-race victory at Deauville on Sunday.
The Richard Hannon-trained colt made amends for his defeat by Berkshire in Royal Ascot's Chesham Stakes by winning the Listed Prix Francois Boutin to put himself in contention for the Prix Jean-Luc Lagerdere at Longchamp and Doncaster's Racing Post Trophy.
"We have always thought a lot of Bunker, and we were surprised when he got beat at Royal Ascot," the trainer's son and assistant, Richard Hannon jnr, told www.richardhannonracing.co.uk.
"However, the Chesham was obviously a very good race this year - the winner (Berkshire) is clearly smart, while the third (Ihtimaal) won the Sweet Solera at Newmarket on Saturday.
"However, we have always looked on Bunker as a horse for next year. He is by Hurricane Run, so has three-year-old written all over him, and he is still immature mentally and quite excitable, so pulling a show off beforehand was not the best of preparations.
"We will obviously have to look at Group races now, and his end-of-season target could be either the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere. which Olympic Glory won last year, or the Racing Post Trophy.
"He will be even more effective with some juice in the ground, but everything went to plan. I told Frankie (Dettori) to make it and that he would be the first off the bridle, and that is the way it worked out. However, Bunker is tough, and I knew that he would keep on finding."
Dettori, retained rider for part-owner Sheikh Joaan Al Thani, said he felt that Bunker could develop into a Investec Derby contender.
"He has registered one minute 22 seconds for the seven furlongs, which is the sign of a very good horse," said the Italian.
"It rode a proper race - I was anxious not to allow it to develop into a sprint as my horse stays well, and, though the Derby is almost 10 months away, he could just be the right type for the race."