This is a great start to the Derby meeting with cases to made for most of these; we'll just side with ALEXANDROS ahead of the progressive pair of Penitent and Mabait. Saeed Bin Suroor's charge has to give weight away all-round here but he still has a couple of pounds in hand of his nearest rivals on the official figures. A look through his form shows that he's not quite performed as he can in Britain, but a sterling winter in Dubai - the highlight of which was a comfortable Group Three success - means he returns to these shores at the top of his game and he's got winning form at similarly undulating tracks and on the ground. He's taken to beat Penitent, a horse who hasn't been seen out since landing a gamble in the Lincoln back in March. That day he looked every inch a pattern-class performer and providing he adapts to this very different track it'd be no surprise were he to take the step up in class in his stride, our sole concern being that while he copes with this sort of ground the horse would surely prefer some cut. Mabait has a similarly progressive profile to Penitent despite having been touched off in the Victoria Cup last time. A well-balanced individual, there should be more to come from Luca Cumani's gelding and he's not to be dismissed lightly. Bushman is another with form on turning tracks and he could still be improving having not had much racing for one of his age. That looked to be the case last time when he readily brushed aside Ordnance Row and Richard Hannon's charge is unlikely to reverse that form. The Cheka has seen the wrong end of Paco Boy on his last two starts but this is easier and he's only had five starts. That said he's shown a liking for cut and both his wins have come on straight tracks. Harrison George was a long way behind Penitent when they met in the Lincoln but he's improved since and could outrun his odds but our feeling is that Alexandros will be very tough to beat and he gets the vote.
Alexandros 7-1 (9-0) 14th of 16, 11l behind Al Shemali (9-0) at Meydan(UAE) 1m 1f Grp 1 (1) gf in Mar.
Beauchamp Xerxes 20-1 (9-5) Steadied in rear, headway over 2f out, led over 1f out, challenged inside final furlong, held on gamely, won at Goodwood 1m Listed stks (1) gd in May beating Vitznau (9-5) by hd, 6 ran.
Bushman 10-3 (9-2) Tracked leader, raced keenly, driven to lead over 2f out, ran on well, won at Windsor 1m Listed stks (1) gf in May beating Ordnance Row (9-2) by 2 3/4l, 5 ran.
Harrison George (IRE) 5-2 (9-2) Chased leader until ridden and slightly outpaced 2f out, ran on well inside final furlong to lead towards finish, won at York 7f cond Stakes (3) gf in May beating Marching (9-2) by nk, 5 ran.
Mabait 4-1fav (9-8) Held up, good headway from 2f out, led 1f out, ridden and kept on inside final furlong, headed towards finish, 2nd of 29, nk behind Dandy Boy (8-13) at Ascot 7f hcp (2) gf in May.
Ordnance Row 5-2 (9-2) Led, steady, quickened over 3f out, headed over 2f out, rallied approaching final furlong, no chance with winner, 2nd of 5, 2 3/4l behind Bushman (9-2) at Windsor 1m Listed stks (1) gf in May.
Penitent 3-1fav (9-2) Always prominent, chased leader over 2f out, ridden to lead approaching final furlong, ran on, won at Doncaster 1m hcp (4yo+) (2) sft in Mar beating Prime Exhibit (8-6) by 2 1/2l, 21 ran.
The Cheka (IRE) 14-1 (9-0) Held up in rear, pushed along 3f out, stayed on inside final furlong, never going pace to reach leaders, 5th of 9, 6l behind Paco Boy (9-0) at Newbury 1m Grp 1 (1) gf in May.
Classic Colori (IRE) 50-1 (9-2) last of 15, 22l behind Lope De Vega (9-2) at Longchamp(FR) 1m 3yo Grp 1 gd in May.