Lingfield Park celebrates Classic double

It was, naturally, a big weekend for connections of Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck and Oaks heroine Anapurna. The powers that be down at Lingfield Park also had reason to celebrate of course as both Classic winners had won their Trials at the Surrey venue.

The Trials at Lingfield had dropped down the pecking order somewhat in recent years despite the track being the closest to Epsom in configuration and topography. Both are left-handed, undulating and both have a 3½f run-in, add to that the sweeping left-hand downhill corner, which is as close a facsimile to Tattenham Corner as you will find anywhere, you would think would make it the ideal ‘Trial’ track.

A little surprisingly High-Rise was the last colt to win the Lingfield Trial and go on to Derby glory in 1998, while Ramruma was the last winner of the track's Oaks trial to follow up in the fillies' Classic in 1999.

Both Trials currently hold Listed status having previously been Group 3’s. The Oaks Trial was downgraded back in 1986 and the Derby Trial much more recently in 2013. Hopes are high that the Derby Trial at least may be returned to Pattern status after the results at the weekend.  

Speaking on Sky Sports Racing on Sunday, Aidan O'Brien said that Lingfield was a "lovely" place to send Anthony Van Dyck en route to Epsom.  Don’t be surprised if you see more Classic hopefuls using Lingfield in the future and the races are back on the Pattern list sooner rather than later.