05/06/2004 12:00AM

Red Lancer romps in Chester Vase

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Red Lancer underlined the weakness of Epsom Derby candidates with a five-length victory in the Group 3 Chester Vase on Thursday.

Picked out of a $9,200 Wolverhampton claiming race on dirt in November by trainer Richard Price, Red Lancer is ineligible for the Derby, as he is a gelding, like recent Sandown Classic Trial winner African Dream. He enjoyed the soft ground at Chester, slamming Privy Seal, who had finished 3 1/2 lengths second to African Dream at Sandown. The time for the 1 1/2 miles, 66 yards was 2:44.33.

Red Lancer's 9-1 victory gives hope to Hazyview in Saturday's Group 3 Lingfield Derby Trial, a 1 1/2-mile Epsom Derby prep, Hazyview beat Red Lancer by a head in a 1 1/4-mile allowance last time. He will be challenged by maiden winners North Light, who is out of Sought Out, winner of the 2 1/2-mile Group 1 Prix du Cadran winner, and Percussionist, a Sadler's Wells colt produced by Magnificent Style, winner of the 1 5/16-mile Group 3 Musidora Stakes.

The locals must beware of the Aidan O'Brien-trained Five Dynasties, a full brother to last year's Irish Derby third, Roosevelt.