Previously impressive in winning the Dee Stakes at Chester over 10 furlongs, the Aidan O’Brien-trained colt dropped back to a mile on Saturday and ran out a stunning winner of the Curragh Classic.
Afterwards, Coolmore supremo John Magnier suggested “tongue in cheek” that he could go for the Derby, although Royal Ascot and the St James’s Palace Stakes would be the more obvious route.
Speaking at the Curragh yesterday, O’Brien said: “He pulled out fine from the race and he’ll be left in the Derby tomorrow.
“The lads haven’t made a decision yet. They’ll get all the information about how he is and then make a decision. It’s definitely possible.
“It (a mile and a half) would be a bit of a concern with what he did yesterday as he showed so much speed, but he got a mile and a quarter easily at Chester and he has a relaxed way of galloping.”
Of his Derby squad, O’Brien added: “They’ll all be left in but I’m not sure about Nevis.”
Van Der Neer is to step up to a mile and a quarter for his next run following his disappointing performance in the Irish 2000 Guineas.
The Richard Hannon-trained colt was sent off favourite on the strength on his third place in the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, but he could never strike a blow at the Curragh and trailed in eighth of the 10 runners.
“Van Der Neer just could not go any faster,” the trainer’s son and assistant Richard Hannon jnr told www.richardhannonracing.co.uk.
“They went a strong pace on ground that was good to firm, and he was just unable to keep up, so we will look to step him up to a mile and a quarter next time.”
First Cornerstone is also to be left in the Investec Derby after giving connections encouraging signs when fifth to Magician.