Epsom Derby: Timeform's runner-by-runner guide

Can Telecaster win the Derby for Hughie Morrison?

Timeform bring you their comprehensive runner-by-runner guide to Saturday's Epsom Derbyand pick out their 1-2-3...

"Raced exclusively around 1¼m to date, but will likely stay 1½m (by a Derby winner and dam was runner-up in Oaks/Irish Oaks for the yard."

Timeform on Telecaster

Anthony Van Dyck (Aidan O'Brien, Ireland/Seamie Heffernan)
Won Futurity Stakes at the Curragh (by half a length from Christmas), before placed efforts in National Stakes at the Curragh (one and a quarter lengths second to Quorto) and Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket (four lengths third to Too Darn Hot) in 2018. Never a threat in Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf final start that year, but made pleasing return to action after six months off (despite not needing to improve) when winning 10-runner listed Derby Trial at Lingfield (by two and a quarter lengths from Pablo Escobarr, leading over a furlong out) last time. Uncomplicated sort who is worthy of respect.

Bangkok (Andrew Balding/Silvestre de Sousa)
Taken his form up a notch since stepping up in trip this season, making winning reappearance in maiden at Doncaster (by one and a quarter lengths from Telecaster) in March, before improving again to win Classic Trial by same margin at Sandown last time. That form not worked out so far and will need to step forward again in this exalted company, but more improvement not ruled out, especially now stepping up further in trip.

Broome (Aidan O'Brien, Ireland/Donnacha O'Brien)
Ended 2018 campaign with runner-up efforts in Group 2 at Leopardstown (two and a half lengths behind Madhmoon) and Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at Longchamp (neck-second to Royal Marine). Continued progress this term, making successful reappearance in Ballysax Stakes back at Leopardstown (by eight lengths from Sovereign) in April, before following up in Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial there (by two and a half lengths from Blenheim Palace) last time, well on top at the finish. Usually responds generously to pressure, and is the highest-rated of the Ballydoyle team, but slight concern he may get too far back if this season's hold-up tactics are employed once more.

Circus Maximus (Aidan O'Brien, Ireland/Frankie Dettori)
Bred in the purple (by Galileo out of Group 2 winner Duntle, who was also first past the post in Group 1 Matron Stakes) and took big step forward from easy-to-back debut fifth when overcoming greenness to win at Galway last term. Also made the frame in Autumn Stakes at Newmarket (three and a quarter lengths third to Persian King) and Futurity Trophy at Doncaster (length-fourth behind subsequent 2000 Guineas winner Magna Grecia) that season. Didn't need to improve to make a winning return after six months off in Dee Stakes at Chester (by one and a quarter lengths from Mohawk) last time, positively ridden by Ryan Moore despite the fact that he was up in trip. Not as flashy as some of his stable companions but still a really good prospect for at least 1½m. First-time cheekpieces.

Hiroshima (John Ryan/Brett Doyle)
Half-brother to 6f winner Quick Recovery, and dam (half-sister to smart winner up to 7f Dick Whittington) won over that trip, so slight surprise he's shown as much stamina as he has, winning Southwell maiden (fairly useful form) over this trip at second attempt. Improved but found event too competitive when well-held eighth of 10 to Anthony Van Dyck in listed Derby Trial at Lingfield last time.

Humanitarian (John Gosden/Robert Havlin)
Shaped with plenty of encouragement and fared much the best of the newcomers when two and a half lengths second to subsequent 2000 Guineas seventh Kick On at Newmarket on debut, before building on that with useful performance to win minor event at Lingfield (by five lengths from Sash) seven weeks later. Followed up in straightforward fashion over two-furlong longer trip at Salisbury last time, always in control returning from six months off and looking ready for a higher grade. Remains with potential and should stay this longer trip on breeding (by Frankel's 1½m-winning brother Noble Mission and some stamina on dam's side), but needs to take another step forward.

Japan (Aidan O'Brien, Ireland/Wayne Lordan)
Brother to Oaks runner-up Secret Gesture and Sir Isaac Newton, and cost 1,300,000 guineas as a yearling. Held back by inexperience when only seventh on debut at the Curragh, but progressed as expected when overcoming drop back to seven furlongs at Listowel just 11 days later. Again strong at the finish when pipping stablemate Mount Everest by short-head in Beresford Stakes at Naas 18 days on. Weak 8/1-chance on return from eight months off, but shaped encouragingly when five and three-quarter lengths fourth to Telecaster in Dante Stakes at York last time, staying on from two furlongs out but never on terms. Looks and pedigree suggest that he will step up on that before long and it wouldn't be a surprise were he to develop into a St Leger contender further down the line. Remains with potential over this intermediate trip, though, still unexposed after four starts after all.

Line of Duty (Charlie Appleby/James Doyle)
Brother to 1¼m winner (stayed 1½m) Hibiscus and 9.5f winner (stays 13f) World War, both useful, so no surprise that he improved on earlier juvenile form when stepped up to a mile and beyond for final three starts of 2018, winning maiden at Goodwood, 9f Prix de Conde at Chantilly and Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf at Churchill Downs (by half a length from Uncle Benny). Below expectations (folded quickly) when 11 lengths seventh to Telecaster in Dante Stakes at York last time. That run possibly too bad to be true, and should be suited by 1¼m/1½m, so likely to bounce back with a better effort here, albeit probably in defeat (best form around 10 lb shy of leading form protagonists). First-time cheekpieces.

Madhmoon (Kevin Prendergast, Ireland/Chris Hayes)
Won maiden and Champions Juvenile Stakes (by two and a half lengths from Broome), both at Leopardstown, in unbeaten 2018 campaign. Beaten favourite but ran well under 3 lb penalty when half-length second to race-fit Never No More on reappearance back there in April. Ran his race, having had every chance in the main group, when four and a quarter lengths fourth to Magna Grecia in 2000 Guineas at Newmarket last time. Should stay 1¼m in time (as his dam did), but sire flopped in this race and stamina not assured now up half a mile in trip, for all that he may yet do better in time.

Norway (Aidan O'Brien, Ireland/Jamie Spencer)
Tall, leggy colt who won 1m maiden at Naas and 1¼m listed race at Newmarket (by length from I'll Have Another), before signing off with creditable four-length fourth in Group 1 Criterium de Saint-Cloud in 2018. Edgy in the preliminaries, but still ran creditably when stepped up in trip for return at Chester, beaten eight lengths by Sir Dragonet in first-time cheekpieces. Proved there that he's trained on, but he isn't one of the stable stars, and set for minor role here.

Sir Dragonet (Aidan O'Brien, Ireland/Ryan Moore)
First foal of dam who won over 6f as a two-year-old but stayed 9.5f, and is a half-sister to 11.4f/1½m winner Wonder of Wonders and 1¼m/11f winner Victory Song (both smart), so plenty of stamina in the family. Belied weakness in the market to get off the mark at the first attempt at Tipperary in April, when scoring by three lengths with plenty in hand, and made big impression when following up in Chester Vase (by eight lengths from Norway) less than two weeks later, wiping the floor with rivals who had all shown useful form already. Both wins on soft ground, but sire's best efforts--including when winning this race--came on quick ground, and dam also effective on the going. Open to further improvement and rates a leading contender having been supplemented for the race on Monday.

Sovereign (Aidan O'Brien, Ireland/P.B. Beggy)
Useful performer who won heavy-ground 8.5f maiden at Galway (by 14 lengths from Elite Trooper Grey) in 2018. Good three lengths third to Broome in Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown last time, but did too much too soon there and likely he'll be asked to front-run once more.

Telecaster (Hughie Morrison/Oisin Murphy)
Unraced at two but rapid progress this season, finishing a length and a quarter second to Bangkok (subsequently won Classic Trial at Sandown next time) on debut, before winning minor event at Windsor (by nine lengths) next time. Shaped very well when following up in eight-runner Dante Stakes at York (by length from Too Darn Hot) last time, leading two furlongs out and responding well when joined inside the final furlong. Raced exclusively around 1¼m to date, but will likely stay 1½m (by a Derby winner and dam was runner-up in Oaks/Irish Oaks for the yard). Rates a leading contender having been supplemented for the race on Monday, with argument to be made that he would be much shorter in the betting if trained by a yard with a history of producing classic winners.

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