Through the Card: Epsom, Saturday 1 June

The Derby takes centre Stage at Epsom on Saturday

Timeform take you through the card at Epsom on Saturday...

"...form good enough to make him a serious player at this level..."

Timeform on Bye Bye Hong Kong

14:00 - THE TRADER (4) has shown improved form on both his starts upped to this trip this year, and there could still be a bit more come from him, after all his dam was Timeform rated 118. His stablemate Nayef Road will find this easier than the Dante and is a big threat, along with Politicise, who still looks a work in progress and remains with plenty of potential.

14:35 - Veracious (1) is clearly held in some regard, highly tried last season, finishing placed at the highest level in the Coronation Stakes and Nassau Stakes, respectively, on her first two starts. Admittedly, she failed to meet expectations on her return this time around when only fourth in the Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket, but she is entitled to have come on plenty for that and, despite having to carry a penalty, she is strongly fancied to come out on top this time. Nyaleti disappointed at York but she might have found that coming too soon after her good second in the Dahlia at Newmarket, while Anna Nerium was a little unlucky not to beat Awesometank at Goodwood and ran well in this 12 months ago.

15:10 - There isn't an abundance of pace on paper in this, and it is possible that the up-and-coming three-year-old BYE BYE HONG KONG (7) could get an easy lead under Silvestre de Sousa, who rides this track so well. He put up a career-best performance to win a listed event (against his elders) at Windsor last time, form good enough to make him a serious player at this level and, given his trainer Andrew Balding has won this race twice in recent years, he seemingly has plenty in his favour. Zaaki looked better than ever on his return after a gelding operation and will be a very big danger, however.

15:45 - MUTHMIR (3) is a pattern-class sprinter at his best, and is of interest now making his belated handicap debut at the ripe age of nine. A consistent sort, who is very capable when fresh, he has fared well with the draw, getting a nice high berth, and on the pick of his form, he looks fairly treated. He showed no signs of slowing down last season and, with William Haggas historically having a good strike rate at this time of year, Muthmir could prove too classy for these. However, this is the ultimate test of speed in British racing and it's hard to get away from the claims of the progressive HATHIQ (15). He was an easy winner again at the Curragh on Sunday and could be a Group-race sprinter in the making, so also needs keeping on side turned out under a penalty.

16:30 - Aidan O'Brien has been the trainer to follow in the Derby in recent years and, given he has a battalion of runners in this year's renewal, he is long odds-on to record another success. Sir Dragonet is the supposed first string, having been supplemented on Monday, but at bigger odds, it could be worth taking a chance on JAPAN (7). A smart two-year-old, he was very weak in the betting ahead of his reappearance in the Dante Stakes at York won by Telecaster, but he was far from disgraced, and made some good late headway that day. The combination of this longer trip and the fact he will almost certainly strip fitter for that effort make him of interest here at double-figure odds.

17:15 - SEXTANT (3) showed signs of temperament in a light three-year-old campaign, but looked a smart prospect when an impressive winner of an Ascot handicap on his return three weeks ago (had been gelded) and needs keeping on side for now. Soto Sizzler is another with a positive profile and looks the main threat, with Aquarium and Eddystone Rock best of the others.

17:50 - It may pay to take a chance on HELVETIAN (10), who arrives here 2 lb below his last winning mark and seems to be coming back to top form. Spanish City is still lightly raced for his age and in excellent hands, so may yet do better, while Reputation, who took this race in 2017, is another to bear in mind.

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