Bullet on target for Cecil but Timepiece begins to run slow

HENRY Cecil was left with plenty of thinking to do at Lingfield as a satisfying performance by Bullet Train in the totesport.com Derby Trial compensated for an odds-on defeat for the ante-post Oaks favourite Timepiece in the totesportcasino.com Oaks Trial Stakes.

Very much on the positive side was Bullet Train, added to the Investec Derby field at the latest entry stage and now as short as 10-1 to give the trainer his fifth victory in the premier Classic at Epsom.

But Cecil has twice as many Oaks successes to his name and Time-piece, a 4-7 chance in his often-favoured prep-race at the Surrey course, paid the price for a protracted battle with Ceilidh House and was caught by the John Gosden-trained Dyna Waltz.

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Bullet Train (11-4) was clearly far sharper for finishing second on his reappearance at Newbury and led the Group Three field for the entirety, with Tom Queally finding enough in the tank to manufacture a formidable finishing kick.

Cecil issued a note of caution to those keen on backing the colt for the Derby as he is owned by Khalid Abdullah, whose Workforce trials for Sir Michael Stoute in the upcoming Dante Stakes at York.

Cecil said: "He is in the King Edward VII Stakes and we thought he was a Royal Ascot horse, but I'm not saying he won't go to the Derby. We'll just see what the trials bring and what Prince Khalid wants to do. He's beginning to bloom but has got to go on improving another couple of steps to be a Derby contender."

The owner's racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe added: "We have got Workforce to run next week first. It depends if the Prince wants to run two in the Derby, but he has done before."

Aidan O'Brien's Captain James Cook broke down on the home turn, while Stoute's 6-4 favourite Desert Myth was only fifth.

It was Dubawi Phantom who ran on for second, two and a quarter lengths adrift of Bullet Train.