King Power Racing are hoping it is a case of third time lucky when course winner Bellum Justum returns to Epsom for the Betfred Derby.

The King Power team, whose horses run in the colours of their Premier League-bound football club Leicester City, have previously had two horses tackle the Epsom undulations in the premier Classic, with Bangkok beating just a sole rival home in 2019 and The Foxes an honourable fifth 12 months ago.

Both arguably failed to stay the mile-and-a-half Derby distance, but there seems to be no such concerns about this year’s candidate, with the Andrew Balding-trained colt heading to the Surrey track with his star on the rise.

Having taken his time to open his account last term, the 375,000 guineas son of Sea The Stars thrived on his seasonal return, claiming Epsom’s Blue Riband Trial and igniting Derby dreams with an impressive display.

The prospective mount of Oisin Murphy is a general 25/1 shot for Derby glory, but with plenty of questions already answered during his racecourse sighter, connections have cause for optimism in what they feel is an open race.

“I think it’s a big help knowing you have one that handles Epsom well,” explained Alastair Donald, racing manager for the owners.

“He travelled strongly and we thought he might need that run a bit, so I think there will be improvement to come from him and unlike our other two runners in the Derby, there’s a decent chance he will stay.

“It took him a couple of runs to get going last year, but he ran in some red-hot maidens. Inisherin (who he beat at Newmarket) ran a big race in the 2000 Guineas and his form is strong – he’s definitely and improving horse.

“At the minute it’s quite an open Derby and a really interesting one. These are the races you want to be in and so we cross our fingers.”