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    Derby contenders risk their Classic credentials. Is there anyone who can challenge Aidan O'Brien's clear favourite, Grosvenor Square?
Derby contenders risk their Classic credentials. Is there anyone who can challenge Aidan O'Brien's clear favourite, Grosvenor Square?
O'Brien and Grosvenor Square. Source: racingpost.com

Derby contenders risk their Classic credentials. Is there anyone who can challenge Aidan O'Brien's clear favourite, Grosvenor Square?

There is only one trainer to start with here, and that is Aidan O'Brien, who in the last ten years has produced six winners and seven placings out of 17 runners. This year, he has two horses to ride, and he is hoping that at least one of them can become a true contender at Epsom.

Ryan Moore's selection, Grosvenor Square, is also the form choice. After winning a Group 3 previously, it received a Racing Post Rating of 105.

The last five O'Brien runners in this race to record an RPR of at least 105 on their previous start were defeated, although Grosvenor Square easily defeated five rivals in the 1m1f Eyrefield Stakes at Leopardstown, setting a clear standard.

Can Hidden Law follow in the footsteps of his stablemate Notable Speech and win the 2,000 Guineas on Saturday in City of Troy? The Ballydoyle trainer had the best horse in the race, but he was defeated by an undefeated runner from the Godolphin stable who hadn't competed in a Group event.

While it's hard to compare his victories in a Newbury maiden and Southwell novice to the experienced Grosvenor Square Group form, he is only 6lb behind that rival on RPRs and is bred to be a top-class Dubawi son of Secret Gesture.

Hidden Law is expected to stay this extra furlong and a half and possibly get better for it because she finished second in an Oaks and he has already won over a mile and three furlongs.

Both Andrew Balding and John and Thady Gosden, who have kept the trophy at home for the past two of the last three years and both are represented. Balding saddles the winner of a previous race, Cadogan Place, and the Gosden team depends only on Pappano, the winner of Wolverhampton.

Neither of those has the same profile as Arrest or Youth Spirit, the recent winners for each trainer, and both of those entered this having competed in Group races.

Golden West did participate in a Group 3 race in France previously, and several of his three-year-olds have followed this path this year in order to return home and compete for significant prizes. It is a strategy that, as of yet, hasn't really paid off.

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