Libertarian will be aiming to confirm his Derby credentials at Sandown
Last Updated: 25/04/13 3:06pm
Fantastic Moon: Returns to Sandown on Friday
Libertarian will be aiming to confirm his Investec Derby credentials as he lines up in the bet365 Classic Trial at Sandown.
The Group Three heat has not produced the Epsom winner since Shahrastani struck gold back in 1986, but there have been plenty of top-class victors in recent years, including multiple Group One winners Fantastic Light, Sakhee and Pentire.
The Elaine Burke-trained Libertarian is the most unexposed runner in the line up this year with just one start to his credit, in a Pontefract maiden earlier this month.
While he was an impressive winner that day, connections are under no illusions as to the challenge he faces in Pattern company.
"It's obviously a huge step up for him from a Pontefract maiden but he's a very, very progressive horse," said Karl Burke, the trainer's husband and assistant.
"We think has got a lot of potential, but we will find out tomorrow. It is a bit of a fact-finding mission tomorrow, but we are very hopeful he will run a good race.
"He has a lot of ability but he is very green, as you saw at Pontefract. However, he has improved in his home work off the back of that run and we hope he can go on again tomorrow."
There are three Irish raiders in the race with Autumn Stakes third and fifth, the Aidan O'Brien-trained Eye Of The Storm and David Wachman's Galileo Rock, making the trip.
Ballysax Stakes second Sugar Boy also makes the trip for Patrick Prendergast.
Sir Henry Cecil won the race with Old Vic back in 1989 and he sends out Al Waab this time while Jeremy Noseda saddles Fantastic Moon.
Richard Hannon runs recent Lingfield winner Woodstock and the trainer admits he is shooting in the dark.
"We run Woodstock in the Classic Trial. It is a big jump up in class for him as he only broke his maiden at Lingfield three weeks ago, but we will find out what we have got here," the trainer told www.richardhannonracing.co.uk.