05/10/2007 11:00PM

Admiralofthefleet lands Dee


Trainer Aidan O'Brien has another Epsom Derby contender after Admiralofthefleet landed the Group 3, $118,000 Dee Stakes at Chester on Friday. O'Brien thus swept Chester's Derby preps, as he had won Thursday's Chester Vase with Soldier of Fortune.

By Danehill out of a mare who is a full sister to Machiavellian and a half to Exit to Nowhere, Admiralofthefleet, 7-2, scored by two lengths from the 2-1 favorite, Desert Dew. Admiralofthefleet finished in 2:09.82 under Michael Kinane for the 1 1/4 miles and 75 yards on good ground.

The winner of the one-mile Group 2 Royal lodge Stakes at Ascot in September, Admiralofthefleet had disappointed when he ran seventh to Creachadoir in the one-mile Group 3 Leopardstown 2000 Guineas Trial on April 7. The longer distance of the Dee seems to have set him back on the Epsom Derby trail.

O'Brien was unsuccessful, however, with the even-money Scorpion in the Group 3 Ormonde Stakes, a 1 5/8-mile and 89-yard contest worth $140,000. Scorpion was second by two lengths to the Michael Stoute-trained Ask.

Scorpion has now lost five straight since his St. Leger Stakes triumph in 2005.

O'Brien will saddle four more Epsom Derby candidates in Sunday's Group 2 Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown, among them the Derby second favorite Macarthur. A full brother to the 2005 Epsom Derby winner, Motivator, Macarthur faces a tough opponent in Mores Wells, who beat him two lengths into third in the Group 3 Ballysax Stakes three weeks ago.