US Army Ranger: impressive on his sole start at Curragh last monthPICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos
Derby favourite US Army Ranger heads to Chester
ANTE-POST Investec Derby favourite US Army Ranger takes his next step towards the Epsom Classic on Thursday when contesting the Group 3 MBNA Chester Vase.
The son of Galileo, who was an impressive winner on heavy ground at Curragh on his debut last month, is one of six runners in the £75,000 contest on day two of the Boodles May festival at Chester.
US Army Ranger is a best priced 9-2 shot with Sky Bet and Paddy Power to land the Derby on June 4 and Aidan O'Brien expects the highly-touted three-year-old, who will be ridden by Ryan Moore, to learn plenty from his second start.
O'Brien said: "US Army Ranger is in good form but he's going to be very green and we just hope he handles the bends.
"The maiden he won was a slow-motion race on testing ground, but it won't be a slow-motion race on Thursday. He's going to learn a lot from it."
Ireland's champion Flat trainer also saddles fellow Derby entrant Port Douglas, ridden by Seamie Heffernan, in the 1m4f contest, in which Biodynamic, Dwight D, High Grounds and Ormito also line up.
Wednesday's feature Chester Cup will see the two reserves, Gabrial's King (stall 17) and Venue (stall 1), take their place in the 17-runner handicap following both English Summer (vets certificate) and Moonrise Landing (in season), drawn in 13 and 19 respectively, were declared non runners on Tuesday morning.