Sir Michael Stoute has trained four of the last seven winners of this race so it's fair to assume COMMEND has shown plenty of ability at home and he gets the nod on his debut. He shares a Derby entry along with Godolphin's 150,000 dollar colt Invinsible Hunter and the latter should be noted, along with fellow newcomers Critical Point, Qaadira and especially Sea Fever, who is a half-brother to the high-class Wigmore Hall. Rewarded and Born To Surprise shaped well on their respective debuts and Flaxen Flare finished just ahead of Peak Storm at Leicester when placed on his first start.
Born To Surprise 7-2 (9-0) Slowly away, held up in rear, headway centre 2f out, stayed on to 2nd inside final furlong, no chance with winner, 2nd of 8, 2 3/4l behind Famous Poet (9-0) at Warwick 7f 2yo mdn (5) gf in Sep.
Commend Pivotal colt out of Reputable.
Critical Point Pivotal gelding out of Finlaggan.
Derek The Diamond Araafa colt out of West One.
Excellent Jem 9-2 (9-3) Dwelt, held up in last pair, never on terms, 5th of 6, 19l behind Lucky Henry (9-0) at Nottingham 6f 2yo mdn (5) gf.
Flaxen Flare (IRE) 40-1 (9-0) Behind, headway over 1f out, not clear run and switched left inside final furlong, stayed on well closing stages, nearest finish, 3rd of 15, 3 1/2l behind Afaal (9-0) at Leicester 7f 2yo mdn (4) gd.
Invisible Hunter (USA) Rahy colt out of Madeline P.
Peak Storm 150-1 (9-0) Mid-division, headway over 2f out, stayed on inside final furlong, never nearer, 4th of 15, 3 1/2l behind Afaal (9-0) at Leicester 7f 2yo mdn (4) gd.
Retromania (IRE) 20-1 (8-13) Mid-division, ridden halfway, never on terms, 7th of 10, 9l behind Cristal Gem (8-7) at Lingfield 7f 2yo mdn auc stks (6) pol.
Rewarded 12-1 (9-3) Chased leaders, led over 2f out, headed inside final 2f, ridden and edged right inside final furlong, stayed on to hold 2nd closing stages, 2nd of 15, 3/4l behind Mighty Ambition (9-3) at Newbury 7f 2yo mdn (4) gd in Sep.
Sea Fever (IRE) Footstepsinthesand colt out of Love And Laughter.
Shomberg 8-1 (9-3) Tracked leaders, ridden 3f out, weakened over 1f out, 6th of 7, 16l behind Genius Step (9-3) at Goodwood 7f 2yo mdn (5) sft in Sep.
Waldstein Royal Applause colt out of Sabalara.
Perfect Example (IRE) Cape Cross filly out of Shining Debut.
Pink Belini Phoenix Reach filly out of Pink Supreme.
Qaadira (USA) Mr Greeley filly out of Makderah.