Motivator underlined his potential with regard to next month's Epsom Derby, as he stylishly landed the totesport Dante Stakes at York.

The Michael Bell-trained colt maintained his unbeaten record as he beat The Geezer in the 10-furlong Classic trial, with Aidan O'Brien's second string Falstaff third, after making the early running.

Albert Hall, the main hope from the Ballydoyle yard never really threatened and eventually finished fifth. O'Brien was not too disappointed with eventual fifth Albert Hall as he felt the
easy ground was against the colt.

He added: "Just when he let him down, he just floundered. I was concerned about the ground beforehand because he's a fast ground horse.

"A combination of soft ground and a horse who is not 100 per cent fit is usually a disaster but he ran okay. I don't know about Epsom - we weren't counting on this."

O'Brien was impressed by Motivator's performance. He said: "The winner did it well and you would have to be very impressed. He travelled well and quickened well."

Johnny Murtagh was delighted with Motivator's performance and believes the colt will be able to handle the undulations at Epsom.

He said: "It was a funny race. There wasn't much pace but when I asked him to quicken he did it very well. I think he'll come round Tattenham Corner come Derby day. He was only having his third run and I expect a lot more improvement - he has what it takes.

"Good horses adapt and to win the Derby he has to overcome it all. I think he has a great chance."

The winning trainer Michael Bell was also upbeat about possible glory on June 4. He added: "It's been an agonising six months since the Racing Post Trophy. We made the decision to come to the Dante and it is now looking a sound decision.

"I can't tell you the part the team at home have played. He is quite highly-strung but today he was very calm in the preliminaries.

"We kept everything low key before the race and he behaved immaculately before, during and after the race. I am absolutely delighted. His whole day has been very smooth and it will take a good one to beat him at Epsom."