Last year's leading Derby horses have all had their turns this season at claiming a major race or two and Caspar Fownes-trained Rainbow Chic looks placed to make his mark in the Group Three January Cup (1,800m) at Happy Valley.

Rainbow Chic (Zac Purton) finished a close-up fourth to Akeed Mofeed, Endowing and Gold-Fun under the set weights of the Derby last season but, while those three have collectively won six Group races this term, Fownes' gelding hasn't quite measured up.

In part, that has been because the Group races are almost exclusively run at Sha Tin and Rainbow Chic has been struggling to cope with the firm ground at the main course.

The return to a kinder surface at Happy Valley is key and Fownes is backing the gelding up quickly from his run in the Chinese Club Challenge Cup over an insufficient 1,400m last week.

That's a tactic Fownes often employs for target races, including Rainbow Chic's win over Wednesday's distance at his last appearance at Valley in June when he was backing up from a mile run three days prior.

Back to 1,800m is also far more suitable for Rainbow Chic especially in a race with a number of runners going forward early and helping the run-ons to get into the finish.

Then throw into the mix just how well handicapped he is now, getting 13 pounds off Endowing (Tye Angland), and Rainbow Chic picks himself as a logical favourite.

Pure Champion (Gerald Mosse) is a rival to respect, another who can be difficult to place just right for trainer Tony Cruz, but he is ideally suited by this event.

The seven-year-old stallion finds 1,600m just too sharp and 2,000m just too far and he performs probably a step behind the really top horses, so Pure Champion needs what he gets Wednesday: a Group Three handicap at 1,800m and his last two wins have come under those circumstances, including this race two years ago.