SETTING the Derby to one side, the remainder of the card at Epsom presents plenty of alternative betting opportunities, none more so than Nicobar (3.05) in the Group 3 Vodafone Diomed Stakes.

Ian Balding's much-improved miler has already won twice in Group 2 company this term, plus has the added advantage of being able to handle ground ranging from good to firm to heavy.

For adrenaline junkies, the Vodafone Dash over the fastest five-furlong track in the country qualifies as the most exciting heat of the day.

If the sun continues to shine, the course record standing at around 55 seconds could be under threat from the likes of the top-weight Repertory (4.35).

The Malcolm Saunders-trained speedster, who finished third in the race 12 months ago, is not getting any slower with age.

Mark Johnston wastes no time in whipping out Julius, narrowly beaten on her seasonal comeback over an extended nine furlongs at Folkestone on Thursday.

She's a huge filly with bags of scope for improvement, poised I believe to benefit from the step up in trip for the mile-and-a-half Rated Stakes at 5.10.

At Doncaster, Johnston adopts similar tactics with Down To The Woods (2.05), formerly a very speedy juvenile, who is now tried at ten furlongs for the first time.

Twice a winner at the course over six furlongs last season, the big, flashy chestnut will be going into unknown territory once he passes the three-furlong-from-home pole.

Royston Ffrench has the difficult job of conserving the stamina reserves of Down To The Woods, a task not beyond him in the Worthington Conditions Stakes.

Give Me A Ring (2.35), enjoying a new lease of life at the ripe old age of eight, bids for a four-timer in the following Stanley Handicap.

Ollie Pears delivered Chris Thornton's gelding with a perfectly-timed challenge over course and distance last time out and has again been booked to do the steering.

Haydock stages an excellent six-race meeting featuring a brace of cracking Listed events, starting with the Cecil Frail Stakes at 2.20, when Irish raider Romanylei, successful on her last visit to these shores at Ascot in the autumn, could be the biggest threat to Hot Tin Roof.

The following John of Gaunt Stakes is a hard one to call, with my preference going to the progressive Mount Abu (2.50), all the better for his comeback outing at Newmarket when third to Warningford.

At Worcester, Kim Bailey might have unearthed another potentially useful customer in the shape of Super Dollar (2.10), who can get punters off to a flyer in the opener at tomorrow's meeting.

He's a son of Great Commotion, an underrated sire capable of producing Group 1 winners such as Lend A Hand.

There's also some fabulous action at Newmarket, where the consistent Morgans Orchard earns the nap vote for the mile-and-a-half NGK-sponsored Ladies Derby.

Janus' nap Imagine won The Oaks at Epsom yesterday at 3-1.