It is Trials day at Lingfield on Saturday and it looks like being the Aiden O’Brien show.
They get underway at 1.55 with the Listed Oaks Trial Fillies' Stakes over the 1m3½f trip. Flattering is short enough at 11-8 but I was taken with the way Aiden O’Brien trained filly won her maiden at Cork earlier this month. A number of these no doubt have more to offer but she looks the one to me on what we have seen thus far and the stable has found its form in the last couple of weeks.
The colts go over the same trip at 2.30 for the Listed Derby Trial. My St Leger ante-post punt Kew Gardens lines-up for ‘the lads’ from Ballydoyle and I have to be on. This sort of trip should prove much more to his liking than the 1m1f of the Listed Feilden Stakes where he was third last month. That will at least have blown away the cobwebs and I am hopeful he can win this before going on to bigger prizes later in the season. I took 7-4 early on Friday. “He ran at Newmarket early on and is in good shape,” said O’Brien in the build-up. “Because the ground has been so bad in Ireland, our horses are improving massively for their first runs. When they ran first time they were just ready to start. You then hope they can step forward, it’s great to get runs into them.”
I put up Silent Attack when he won at Lingfield last month having been off the track for 427 days; he was impressive to my eyes winning with authority. He is sent out again by Saeed bin Suroor for the Victoria Cup at Ascot due off at 4.00. He is up to a mark of 103 following that win and they may not be the limit of his ability so at 12-1 he is a decent each-way punt in a typically competitive renewal. He was also entered at Chester on Friday so the fact he comes here suggests confidence.
On Sunday they host the French 1000 and 2000 Guineas out at Longchamp. The colts go first in the Group One Poule d'Essai des Poulains at 2.35. Wootton arrives unbeaten in three starts to date for Godolphin and Henry-Alex Pantall having won the G.3 Prix de Fontainebleau last month over track and trip. One concern is he may want it softer but he did win on good ground on his debut and is the selection at 2-1.
It’s the fillies at 3.15 for the Group One Poule d'Essai des Pouliches. Polydream did little wrong as a two-year-old winning her first two starts and finishing second behind Wild Illusion on her final start of the campaign in the G.1 Marcel Boussac. I would expect Freddy Head to have his filly ready and raring to go and she is my pick in an open heat at 7-2.