Racing News 15 May 2017

Bubbles Burst In Classic Trials, But Godolphin May Have Solution To Derby Puzzle

With around three weeks to go until the Epsom Classic’s, the trials for both the Oaks and Derby are now coming thick and fast.

Hot on the heels of the Chester meeting, where both Cliffs Of Moher and Venice Beach advanced their Derby claims for team Ballydoyle, Saturday saw Lingfield play host to its trials. Given the left-handed, undulating nature of the track, many view the Surrey venue as the ideal testing ground ahead of the Epsom challenge.

It was once again team Ballydoyle who boasted the short-priced favourites for both the Oaks and Derby Trials, but whilst things went pretty much to plan at Chester, the efforts of Pocketfullofdreams and Sir John Lavery were bitterly disappointing.

Pocketfullofdreams could only manage second in the opening Oaks Trial, well beaten off by John Gosden’s Hertford Dancer, a horse rated just 76 headed into the race, and not even holding an entry at Epsom. Gosden seemed of the opinion that supplementing the filly for Epsom would be throwing money away, which doesn’t say much for those who finished in behind her. Pocketfullofdreams is out to 66/1 with Totesport, with third placed finisher, The Sky Is Blazing rated a 50/1 shot (£30 free bet offer). It seems unlikely that the Oaks winner will come from this race.

If Pocketfullofdreams was disappointing, then Sir John Lavery was simply woeful. Sent off the 11/8 jolly, this son of Galileo finished 16l of the pace and looked a far cry from a Classic winner. With no immediate explanation forthcoming from connections, it seems doubtful whether this one will now even take his place in the 1m4f colts Classic. Having been as short as 17/2 in places, he is now out to 33/1.

The horse to emerge with easily the most credit from Lingfield Trials Day was the Godolphin Derby Trial winner, Best Solution. Being by the top-class sprinter, Kodiac, this one wouldn’t immediately leap out as a potential Derby winner. He did this very well in the end though, pulling well clear and winning eased down in a race that seemed to be run at a good pace. Coral (Coral £20 free bet) make him a 16/1 shot for Derby glory on the back of this display, and on what we have seen so far, he looks more than worth his place in the line-up.

Looking ahead to the coming week, York plays host to one of its most popular meetings of the year. Held over three days and headlined by key Derby Trial, the Dante Stakes, the Knavesmire is the place to be for racing fans from Wednesday to Friday this week.

The highly touted – and still unbeaten- Cracksman heads the betting for the Dante, whilst the impressive Shutter Speed looks to take the beating in the Musidora for the fillies. In a meeting which has something for everyone, Brando, Magical Memory and co will lock horns in the 6f Duke Of York Stakes, whilst the Yorkshire Cup provides an early season big prize for the stayers.