John Oxx warns Akeed Mofeed won't be at peak fitness for his seasonal reappearance in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown on Sunday week.
The three-year-old is second-favourite behind Camelot in the betting for the Investec Derby at Epsom in June, but missed his intended comeback target at Leopardstown last month after suffering a setback.
He now faces a race against time to be fit enough for his next target and Oxx conceded if he does not make Leopardstown, his Epsom participation would also be in serious doubt.
"He walked for 10 days and walked and trotted for seven, but he was 17 days without a canter," Oxx told At The Races.
"He cantered last Monday week and then did some fast work this week. We hope to run him in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial on Sunday week at Leopardstown, but it is coming up too soon.
"He would certainly want another week, but if we can get him there fit enough to run a good race we'd be hoping to run.
"That is the Derby trial in Ireland and there isn't a lot else for him, so we wouldn't have a back-up as an Epsom Derby trial. It's that or nothing.
"I think he has to run at Leopardstown if he's going to run in the Derby, so we'll see how the next week or 10 days go.
"He didn't have a big problem, he just needed some rest and he seems to have made a good recovery. If he stands up to the work without having a recurrence I'd be pretty hopeful we'll get him to Leopardstown, although he will not be as fit as I'd have liked."