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Todays racing teaser pic

Derby entry Hartnell
out to show his class

2.50 Epsom

Investec Derby Trial (Conditions Race) | 1m2f18y, 3yo | RUK

DESPITE taking place over 1m2f of the Derby course, this £50,000 trial has rarely provided solid pointers for the big event in June. In fact, just two of the nine runners today, Hartnell and Signposted, hold an entry for the Classic.

An unexpected deluge of 25mm on Monday night totally changed the going to soft, good to soft in places.

Trainers to follow
John Gosden and Andrew Balding have each won this race twice in the last ten years. Gosden is doubly represented this time with Marzocco (William Buick) and Nonno Giulio, who were both winners of their sole starts at two, while Balding unleashes Signposted, who landed two of his four outings as a juvenile.

Grounds for doing well
Hartnell, Arantes, Moontime, Our Channel and Signposted have win or placed form on soft or heavy ground.

What they say
Charlie Johnston, son of Mark Johnston, trainer of Hartnell and Stars Over The Sea
If the ground has gone soft it won't be an issue for Hartnell. He's well clear on official ratings, and we hope he has improved from two to three - he's certainly been pleasing us at home. We took the step to supplement him for the Derby recently, and that's the aim. Stars Over The Sea has also wintered well. We arguably could have looked at handicaps with him off his rating of 91, but we've always really liked him. His Haydock form is very strong - Chief Barker and Chriselliam finished first and second - so he fully deserves to take his chance.

Mick Channon, trainer of Arantes
He's a smashing horse. Whether he's good enough to win a Derby trial is another matter, but we hope he'll do himself justice. He should be okay on soft ground.

Charlie Appleby, trainer of Moontime
He's a gelded son of Sea The Stars who surprised us when winning his maiden at Newmarket last October. He won nicely that day, and the form has been franked by the second [Munjaz], who won at the Craven meeting last week. He's done well physically over the winter and some juice in the ground suits him. It's a good starting point, and I'm confident he'll run a nice race.

William Haggas, trainer of Our Channel
He won his maiden very easily, but I'm not sure he wants soft ground or that he'll stay as he's a free-going sort. He is talented, though.

Ed Dunlop, trainer of Trip To Paris
He wears blinkers, and hasn't run for a long time. He has a bit to find with Hartnell on ratings. I was pleased with my squad for Epsom until I heard it had rained so heavily on Monday night.

soft, good to soft in places
Catterick good, good to firm in places
Perth good to soft, good in places
Southwell good
Taunton good, good to soft in places

Today's key pointer

Paul Nicholls' last ten runners in non-handicap chases at Taunton have finished 1U123P1112. Cowards Close goes for him in the 6.30

Pointer courtesy of Raceform Interactive

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