DERBY hopes for troubled star Deerfield flickered back to life yesterday following his first serious test in weeks. The fast-rising star of last year's griffin ranks has had only one run this season and failed in that following an early attack of the virusand an unexplained setback that appeared to defy the vets. Something was amiss with the American-bred youngster but blood tests here and in Australia could not come up with any answers. Worried trainer Alex Wong Yu-on, one of the worst sufferers with the virus, brought Deerfield back into work very carefully and yesterday he was asked to go against the clock for the first time. And regular rider Brent Thomson was very pleased. ''It's been a worry because he has enormous potential. He is one of the best horses I have sat on both inside and outside Hongkong and I know he is a bit special,'' said Thomson, who rode the brilliant Australian mare Dulcify for Colin Hayes. ''You would have to say there is a glimmer of hope now about the Derby although he would obviously be at a disadvantage. ''But the good thing about Deerfield is that he is a relatively lightly framed horse and you can get him ready much quicker. ''He did give me a good feel out there today and with that bit of work behind him you begin to feel a bit more confident. Of course, we will have to see how he comes out of it but if he is okay then there is a real chance that we are back on target,'' added Thomson.