John Gosden has declared Derby possible Private Secretary for the Listed Cocked Hat Stakes at Goodwood on Friday, just eight days ahead of the Classic.
Private Secretary won the same three-year-old handicap at Sandown in April that Jack Hobbs did en route to finishing runner-up to stablemate Golden Horn at Epsom in 2015.
Gosden caused more than a ripple when telling the media at Breakfast with the Stars on Tuesday morning that Private Secretary would be left in the Derby, a race for which he is a best priced 40-1, and would be the mount of Frankie Dettori should he run.
"I couldn't be more pleased with how well Private Secretary has done," Gosden told Nick Luck. "He comes from a good staying family and he will be left in the race and I will discuss it with his owner."
Three of his six rivals at Goodwood have a higher rating, led by Persian Moon, who has chased home both Bangkok and UAE Jewel in his two starts so far this term.
While running at Goodwood does not rule out a quick reappearance – three of the last four Cocked Hat winners have been turned out again at Epsom, including 2015 Derby third Storm The Stars – connections may take a more cautious approach with regard to Private Secretary's immediate future.
In its previous incarnation as the Predominate Stakes it was the springboard for the 1979 Derby hero Troy but in 2007 Goodwood renamed the race and moved it in the calendar.
Private Secretary runs in the colours of Prince Faisal bin Salman's Denford Stud – carried with honour in recent seasons by the Gosden-trained Coronet – who have a further chance of Classic glory through Ebony, who is being aimed at the Prix de Diane Longines by Jean-Claude Rouget.