FORM authority Timeform gives Highland Chief (photo) a solid eachway chance in the Investec Derby at Epsom today.
They write: “Highland Chief is bred to come into his own over middledistances, so it augured well for his prospects that he was able to win over five furlongs as a juvenile. He built on that performance when chasing home Pinatubo and Lope Y Fernandez in a high-class renewal of the Chesham Stakes but was off the track for three months before disappointing in the Royal Lodge on his final start of the campaign, beating only one rival home in sixth (Kameko was runner-up).
“He was a different proposition on his reappearance in the Golden Gates Handicap at Royal Ascot, however, defying a mark of 101 and top weight. He launched an irresistible charge that carried him to the front inside the final 50 yards, beating Tritonic by half a length with the pair pulling two and a quarter lengths clear.
“Perhaps he has been slightly overlooked because that was a handicap, but it was a race contested by a number of progressive sorts who were put well in their place, and the rating he achieved puts him in a similar bracket to English King and Mogul, who are among the favourites. Quotes of 16/1 look generous.