05/07/2008 12:00AM

Showdown in Epsom Derby prep race


The Godolphin and Coolmore racing operations will square off in a key Epsom Derby trial at Chester on Friday when Alexandros and Achill Island meet in the Group 3, $128,000 Dee Stakes at 1 1/4 miles, 75 yards.

In Alexandros, Godolphin has a son of Kingmambo who looked potentially first-class last summer winning the Group 3 Prix de Cabourg at Deauville, but he has not run since finishing third behind Myboycharlie and Natagora in the Group 1 Prix Morny on Aug. 19, and this will be his first try beyond six furlongs.

Achill Island, runner-up in last fall's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf, is looking to bounce back from a sixth-place finish in the Group 3 Prix La Force on April 13, and he has yet to prove he can stay further than a mile.

Unnefer, an improving son of Danehill Dancer who won his maiden going 1 1/4 miles at Newmarket in his seasonal debut, poses a threat to the two big stables.