Curtain Raises Derby Hopes; Retirement Party: Beef or Salmon Is Flanked by Trainer Michael Hourigan (Left) and Daughter Kay after the Race

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Byline: MARCUS TOWNEND

CURTAIN CALL had his Derby odds shaved after he successfully completedthe first stage of Luca Cumani's Vodafone Derby masterplan.

Easing past two useful but limited opponents in the intercasino.co.ukConditions Stakes for a comfortable six-length win hardly justified atightening of the Sadler's Wells colt's odds.

He is generally quoted at 7-1. But, with New Approach now seeminglysidestepping Epsom, the search is on for genuine Derby contenders.

Blue Peter in 1939 was the last Derby hero to land the equivalent trial butdual Derby winner Cumani did win the race with Daliapour in 1999 before he wenton to finish second in the Lingfield Derby trial and then only found Oath toogood in the big one.

Cumani will plot the same course with Curtain Call, who won the Group TwoBeresford Stakes at The Curragh last season when trained by Jessica Harringtonbefore being transferred to Newmarket at the beginning of December.

The trainer said: 'The horse was seriously undercooked so he did it well asthere is plenty more to come. The two he beat are nice horses but they are notClassic horses. He needs to step up and hopefully he will. I got him in thefirst week of December so I'm still getting to know this horse but he is aclass act.

'He was very relaxed and the moment Jamie (Spencer) pulled him out, the turbokicked in. …