With prices starting to contract in the Derby market it is perhaps time to consider any potential value in the contenders we have already seen. With High Definition now a best price of 4/1, he is in the area of no value for the average punter. I had a bet on him at 25/1 going into the Beresford because I thought he had the look of a real stayer, who would probably become Aidan's leading hope going into the winter, in a season where most of his good colts looked like milers or perhaps 10f horses. He looked in trouble in the Beresford but started to stay on and eventually finished with a strong run that wore his opponents down. The style of the success seemed to suggest that 12F will see him in a better light this season. High Definition is in the 2000 Guineas betting but it would seem folly to run him there. I also backed him at 20/1 for the St Leger in case he lacks the toe for a Derby. He has questions based on the trends from the Beresford and the suitability of Epsom but is part of a 3YO generation with a dearth of strong staying candidates. I have pretty much ruled out any of the horses likely to run in the 2000 Guineas as players for Epsom. Often described as the best trial for the Derby, the mile classic has seen runners stepping up in trip after a staying on effort in the Guineas but this season the race looks short of that type of contender. The fact also remains that most Guineas winners do not go on to follow up in the 12F race. So what of the other contenders who might stay? Mac Swiney won the old Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster where One Ruler was second but that was a poor renewal on bad ground. One Ruler was second and I would prefer the Godolphin horse for this season on better going. Bolger's colt was put in his place several times last year and his key wins came on heavy ground, I think he would be in trouble on good ground round Epsom and his trainer has had it lean for some time now at the top level and he is no concern to the O'Brien troops in the main. 20/1 Mac Swiney makes zero appeal to me. Uncle Bryn is 2/2 for John Gosden but they were a class 5 maiden and a class 5 novice. I learned my lesson last season with Waldkonig (albeit he was more impressive visually in a single start) and Uncle Bryn's form looks a long way short of his position in the Derby betting. There were some wins from his second start but they cam in Handicap races off a mark of 73. The son of Sea The Stars just doesn't appeal at all to me at a general 20/1. Cleveland is generally next in the lists at 25/1 and he had two 5th places before getting off the mark on his 3rd start. Aidan seemed positive about him is the stable write up but I am not keen on the 551 profile. His races have not worked out very well at all and his last two starts have yielded zero winners in 34 starts. The ground has been pretty heavy when he has run so there is a chance he will be better on a sound surface but I would need to see him prove this first and he needs a stone to catch up with last season's better colts. Bolshoi Ballet made a promising debut at Newmarket before returning to Ireland to shed his maiden tag in good style. The well travelled youngster was off to France next but was only 5th in a bad ground Group 1 at Saint Cloud over 10F and that is a really strong test of stamina for a young colt. Bolshoi Ballet has six full siblings, the best of whom was Southern France who was 3rd in Kew Gardens in the St Leger. There seems little doubt Bolshoi Ballet will stay based on his relations but will he be suited by Epsom, or will he be one who goes Queens Vase/St Leger this year? Van Gogh didn't really appeal to me until his final start last year. Well beaten by Cadillac and then behind One Ruler in the Autumn Stakes, he had only a maiden win to his name when lining up for the Group 1 Criterium at Saint Cloud in October. That was a mile race on Heavy going and Van Gogh ran out a ready winner by 4 lengths from the decent French colt Normandy Bridge. That seemed a breakthrough win but the Crisford horse Jadoomi looked a poor value favourite that day and the Appleby runner La Barrosa was disappointing. Van Gogh's dam Imagine won the Oaks but had campaigned at a shorter prior to what turned out to be her final race and I would have some concern whether Van Gogh will stay 12F. I feel another visit to France may be on the cards and he would be more likely to get soft ground there. I would be thinking of the French 2000 Guineas and the shorter French Derby for him. Aidan has ample ammunition for the Newmarket Guineas and has a clear favourite for the Epsom Derby in High Definition. We quickly get into 33/1 and upwards for the rest of the field and plenty can be eliminated as exposed colts or ones with little chance of staying. I believe that a few unraced colts will emerge as contenders this spring and the key will be to identifying likely candidates just before they make their debuts, because bubbles will be bursting and any emerging talent will be slashed in the aftermath of a winning start to their career. I am happy with having High Definition at 25/1 for the moment but will probably play something else during the coming six weeks or so. 4/1 is dire value but the vibes seem strong and not many others appeal to me. One horse who won't win it is Darain. Quoted at 33/1 by William Hill, the horse is 4YO and has left these shores to pursue a career in the USA after a disappointing season for John Gosden which didn't recoup much of his £3.5 Million price tag. Good luck if playing.