The Derby and Oaks Trials continue this weekend with Lingfield taking centre stage. They also race at Ascot, Nottingham, Haydock, Hexham, Warwick and Thirsk here in the UK whilst across the pond Belmont Park hosts the Grade One Man o' War Stakes in which ex Aidan O’Brien trained Sovereign is due to make his American debut for Chad Brown. On Sunday out in Ireland Derby hopes Bolshoi Ballet and Mac Swiney are among eight entries for the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown.
I have said before it surprises me that more Derby and Oaks winners haven’t come from the Lingfield trials down the years with the track so similar to Epsom in many ways. Anthony Van Dyck of course came this route in 2019 before winning the Derby but you have to go back to High Rise in 1998 before that for the last one before him to do the Lingfield/Epsom double. The Oaks trial has a slightly better record with three fillies winning at Lingfield before going on to win at Epsom in the 90’s: User Friendly, Lady Carla and Ramruma. Also, Look Here was second in the Lingfield Trial before winning the Oaks at a big price in 2008.
Best bets for the horse racing at Lingfield Park
At 2.15 it’s the first of the Trials the 1m3½f Listed Novibet Oaks Trial Stakes. Technique will be jolly following her second to Wirko at Epsom in the Listed Blue Riband Trial recently but the colt didn’t exactly frank that form when fading into fourth in the 1m4f G.3 Chester Vase in the week. She has actually drifted a bit over the last 24 hours. Nash Nasha is the obvious place to start looking to take on the jolly. A daughter of Dubawi and Irish 1000 Guineas winner Just The Judge she is bred to be decent. She was a fair third on debut over 7f at HQ and then an impressive winner over a mile in a fillies' novice stakes at Lingfield in her two runs at two. Came out for her three-year-old campaign and won over 1m2f at Sandown last month, carrying a 7lb penalty, showing a good attitude to hold off her challengers. I expect a similar display in this and have the 4-1 about her.
Charlie Appleby had four entered for the Listed Novibet Derby Trial Stakes at 2.50 over the 1m3½f but with the likes of Wirko and Yibir having run at Chester and Hurricane Lane possibly going to the Dante he saddles only Adayar now. Green when fourth in a mile maiden at Nottingham on debut in October 2020 he built on that by winning at same venue over the mile at the end of the month. Made a promising start to his three-year-old campaign when second in the G.3 Classic Trial at Sandown last month, Etonian doen the field and never a factor. Stablemate Yibir who was third that day finished fourth in the Listed Dee Stakes this week fading in the final furlong. On breeding this trip isn’t a given for the son of Frankel out of G.3 winning miler Anna Salai but the way he stayed on at Sandown suggests he should see it out. I have a bit of the 11-8 about on Thursday. Kyprios has to be feared but he didn’t beat much at Cork so the form is a bit of an unknown whilst I haven’t be that impressed watching the replays of Carlisle Bay.
At 3.25 we have the 7f Group Three Novibet Chartwell Fillies' Stakes. Isabella Giles was sixth in the 7f G.3 Dubai Duty Free Stakes (Fred Darling Stakes) on her seasonal debut last month beaten about three lengths behind three that went on to run with credit in the 1,000 Guineas. For me she has to be considered here getting the weight for age from the older fillies even though she doesn’t get the full 12lb having won the G.2 Rockfel Stakes at two; she does get 6lb which will surely prove significant if she runs to form. William Buick was booked to ride nice and early which I see as a positive and at 4-1 I think she is well worth a punt in this.
Hopefully it is the William Buick show at Lingfield!
Best bets for the horse racing at Ascot
A race of interest to me over in Berkshire is the 3.05 Winkfield Novice Stakes over 5f. Fall Of Rome makes debut for the Charlie Appleby yard in this and he is one I have been waiting to see. By Frankel out of Listed winner Calare the pedigree aint too shabby to say the least with the likes of Galileo, Kind, Dubawi, Dubai Millenium, Sadlers Wells, Urban Sea, Danehil and Storm Cat all of course in there in the family tree; it's like a who's who of the pedigree game. James Doyle takes the ride with the aforementioned Buick riding at Lingfield but he is no bad substitute. You would expect this one to be running over a mile if nor further in time but the yard knows how to get their young ones ready and place them in the right races so it is hoped he can win this. I will grab the best price I can when they chalk-up. This colt could be one to follow and hopefully it his career will be more all hail Caesar! rather than infamy, Infamy, they've all got it in for me! (sorry couldn’t resist).