Ryan Hill believes Mycroft can stamp his WA Derby claims with a bold showing in the Listed Melvista Stakes (2200m) at Ascot on Saturday.

Hill and Mycroft have been regular partners since the Duane Kitchingman-trained gelding ran eighth on debut at Bunbury last October.

Since his first-up outing Mycroft has made steady progress and two starts back at Bunbury he shed his maiden status with authority.

He finished powerfully from third position and cleared away over the final stages to open up a three-length margin over his next rival.

His following start at Ascot confirmed a WA Derby path after he produced an eye-catching run in the J.C.Roberts Stakes (1800m)

Although unplaced in the Listed feature he was far from disgraced when finishing sixth, beaten 1 ½ lengths by Final Salute.

Hill lavished praise on the run and said with luck the son of Henrythenavigator could have finished even closer.

“I thought his run the other day was really good,” Hill said.

“He had to get back from an awkward barrier, but hit the line well.

“Stepping up to 2200m and drawn in barrier six, he should be midfield or better.

“When we rode him like that at Bunbury he blew them away.

“I don’t think the distance will be a drama and he should go very well.”

Final Salute, Gatting and Lex Piper Stakes (1600m) winner, Gangbuster have solid claims.

Gatting and Master Magician will give trainer Darren McAuliffe a two-pronged attack in the Melvista Stakes.

Gatting’s WA Derby campaign is back on track after a slashing second to Final Salute in the J.C.Roberts Stakes.

The bay gelding bounced back strongly after a disappointing seventh to Gangbuster in the Lex Piper Stakes.

Gatting has drawn the outside gate and will be in the hands of Matthieu Autier.

RWWA: Julio Santarelli