Kingston Hill for Derby glory

Derby tip Kingston Hill  wins the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster in October. Photo: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire
Derby tip Kingston Hill wins the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster in October. Photo: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire
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Kingston Hill has been popular in the ante-post markets in recent days and it is easy to see why as he has excellent claims of landing the Investec Derby at Epsom.

Confidence behind Roger Varian’s charge has been building in light of the unsettled weather forecast and he is a colt who has shown lots of ability with cut in the ground - a factor which could prove crucial with torrential rain a possibility.

The son of Mastercraftsman made swift strides after a winning juvenile debut at Newbury last September, going on to claim the Autumn Stakes at Newmarket before stepping right up to Group One level for a comfortable success in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster.

That last win came on soft ground while his Newmarket success was on slightly quicker going, which shows that he should not be too troubled should the expected rain not arrive.

Some may be discouraged from backing Kingston Hill following his eighth place in the 2000 Guineas and the fact he has something to find with the reopposing Australia.

However, there were certainly positives to be taken from that run as Kingston Hill was staying on with purpose at the finish after hitting a decidedly flat spot when the pace upped a notch over the Rowley Mile.

Varian had always viewed Kingston Hill as more of a Derby type given the stamina on his dam’s side, so be to beaten just five lengths in what appeared to be a quality renewal of the race must go down as a creditable effort.

Kingston Hill impressed many with his work at the Epsom track last week and appears to give Varian an excellent chance of winning a race his much-missed mentor Michael Jarvis never managed to land.

Aidan O’Brien should make the frame with Geoffrey Chaucer, who would be much more at home with cut than Australia, while Fascinating Rock should also be thereabouts.

Cirrus Des Aigles is impossible to oppose in the Investec Coronation Cup as he continues to shine even at eight years of age.

Corine Barande-Barbe’s stable star has looked better than ever this term, defeating Treve in the Prix Ganay before comprehensively seeing off Olympic Glory in the Prix d’Isphan.

Cirrus Des Aigles is thoroughly versatile with the step back up to 12 furlongs providing little concern, and he acts on all but very fast ground, which appears a highly unlikely occurrence on the Downs.