Charlie Appleby is hoping to see suitable ease in the ground at York for leading Betfred Derby candidate Ancient Wisdom, who is set to make his return to action in the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes on Thursday.

The Futurity Trophy winner heads seven colts declared for the invariably-informative Derby trial, but that Doncaster Group 1 success came on heavy ground and his Autumn Stakes win at Newmarket before that was on soft.

Appleby told “Ancient Wisdom has enjoyed a good preparation and stepping up to an extended mile and a quarter is going to suit. The ground will be a question mark and we will want the rain to come.

“We know that he is a better horse with ease in the ground, so we will be on weather watch slightly. If it’s on the easy side of good, then we will look forward to seeing him run. He has wintered well and we are very happy with him.”

The Moulton Paddocks handler is already responsible for Derby second-favourite Arabian Crown, with Ancient Wisdom a best-priced 8/1 third choice behind ante-post favourite City Of Troy.

Roger Varian resisted running Al Musmak in the 2000 Guineas earlier this month and he makes a step up in trip following some smart form at two, while William Haggas enjoys plenty of success on the Knavesmire and pitches Economics into Group 2 company following a taking maiden success at Newbury last month.

Aidan O’Brien had three in the mix at the five-day stage, but has elected to rely on the supplemented Cambridge to snap his losing run in this race that stretches back to 2010.

Karl Burke’s Caviar Heights brings winning form to the table having entered the Dante reckoning by taking the Newmarket Stakes recently, with Owen Burrows’ War Rooms and John and Thady Gosden’s God’s Window completing the septet heading to post.