TAJAAWEED was halved in price for the Vodafone Derby after Sir Michael Stoute saddled him to capture a key trial in the Addleshaw Goddard Dee Stakes at Chester yesterday.
Stoute completed that very double with Kris Kin five years ago, and his latest aspirant was cut from 33-1 to 16s with Coral, Totesport, Ladbrokes, William Hill and VC Bet after his short-head success.
Cashmans offer just 10-1 about his chance in the June 7 Classic.
The strapping individual proved unpopular with racegoers and drifted out to 5-1 from 7-2, but his performance on the track failed to reflect the lack of market confidence.
Richard Hills bided his time aboard the son of Dynaformer and after making a decisive move close to the line, his mount had to battle to see off Unnefer, with the pair five lengths clear of 2-1 favourite Achill Island.
Owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum’s racing manager Angus Gold said: “He is a great big horse so it was nice to see him handle the track and see he has progressed from two to three.
“A decision on the Derby will be left to Sheikh Hamdan, but we don’t have many good three-year-old colts and I am sure if Sir Michael is happy with him then he will run.”
Macarthur – a full-brother to Derby winner Motivator – after the St Leger sixth stamped his class on the Blue Square Ormonde Stakes.
The son of Montjeu had been slightly unlucky in the Classic last September but showed his true colours when storming clear down the short home straight for a four-length verdict.
The 9-4 favourite left Supersonic Dave and Carte Diamond trailing in his wake, but sympathy had to go to Raincoat who lost all chance when squeezed up as he made an eyecatching move inside the distance.
Murtagh said: “He was much improved since the Curragh and his work has been very good. I was impressed with how he quickened and he would have no problem coming back in trip.
“He has speed, will improve for the race and I think he might get quicker with racing.
“I don’t think he is a stayer and don’t be surprised to see him in a big Group One race over a mile and a half or a mile or a quarter.”
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