Chippendale seeks Newbury Gold
Sir Henry Cecil's Thomas Chippendale returns to action at Newbury as he contests the Blue Square London Gold Cup.
The superbly-bred son of Dansili still holds an Investec Derby entry and rounded off his two-year-old season by winning a Leicester maiden from Went The Day Well, who was transferred to America and finished fourth in the Kentucky Derby.
Thomas Chippendale starts off in a handicap, but this is no ordinary handicap as it was taken last year by subsequent Group-class performer Al Kazeem.
"I went to see him do a breeze on the gallops this morning and he looked in great shape," said Barry Simpson, racing manager to the colt's owner, Sir Robert Ogden.
"I think he'll probably need the run, but saying that we are expecting a pretty decent performance.
"The Derby isn't really in our thoughts - I think he'd have to put in a pretty special performance to get us thinking that way - but you never know at this time of year.
"He's only had the two runs, but he's working well and there's a lot to like about the horse."
Many of Thomas Chippendale's rivals have been in winning form already this season such as the James Toller-trained Rewarded.
His form figures are flattered by a walk-over at Sandown but he followed up in a handicap at the Newmarket Guineas meeting.
"He came out of the race very well and we're keen to step him up in trip further than a mile as it has looked as if the further he goes, the better he goes," said Toller.
"I have elected to run him at Newbury rather than Newmarket this weekend as I thought the ground would suit him better.
"Like all these handicaps it's very competitive but I'm happy with the horse and I hope he'll run well."
Richard Hannon is doubly represented by Poetic Lord, the mount of Richard Hughes, and the Pat Dobbs-ridden Humungosaur.
"Poetic Lord won at Lingfield and Goodwood last season and was then beaten only five lengths by Main Sequence when fourth in a competitive handicap at Newmarket," the trainer told www.richardhannonracing.tv.
"That form looks pretty solid after Main Sequence's Lingfield Derby Trial victory, so our fellow must have a chance in what looks a tough race.
"Our other runner, Humungosaur is still a maiden, but he is a pretty good one, having already finished third in a Listed race at Deauville last year, so he would not be out of it either."
Al Kazeem's trainer and owner, Roger Charlton and John Deer, are represented by Trader Jack, who must show more than he did on his reappearance at Sandown to follow in his stablemate's footprints.
Andrew Balding's Expense Claim is two-from-two this year, while Mark Johnston has two unexposed runners with wins to their name.
Hajras is unbeaten in starts at Wolverhampton and Ripon with Icelander getting his head in front at Kempton last time.
Godolphin's Al Saham still has a Derby entry while Ed Dunlop's Almuftarris and Denis Coakley's Hurricane In Dubai are clearly going the right way too.