Nevis stakes his claim for place in Classic reckoning

 

Another day, another Derby trial won by Aidan O'Brien. After Ruler Of The World and Magician at Chester, it was the turn of Nevis at Lingfield to confirm that the Ballydoyle team at least have quantity on their side in the run-up to Epsom, even if its quality will not be defined until the day itself, 1 June. It is a fair assumption, though, that Nevis will not be carrying the Co Tipperary stable's first colours; he won by nine lengths yesterday, but then so he should have, as his opposition was rendered negligible by the late withdrawal of the strongly fancied Greatwood.

To Nevis's credit, he did his job perfectly competently in unpleasant conditions, making all the running in driving rain and wind on ground made testing by the precipitation. He powered clear of his three rivals, headed by the maiden Elidor, in the straight and Ryan Moore, who had ridden Ruler Of The World and Magician, liked what he felt. "He travelled nicely and quickened away well," he said, "and he's another nice colt."

The son of Dansili's success caused barely a ripple in the betting, with a few firms making the token gesture of shortening him to 25-1. "The ground changing wasn't ideal," said Coolmore's representative Kevin Buckley, "but he'd travelled a long way to be here and there was no point in not running. At least he proved he stayed and has progressed through the winter, and we'll see what's what once the rest of the trials are over."

Next up in the series of Epsom eliminators is this afternoon at Leopardstown, where Nevis's stablemate Battle Of Marengo will bid to consolidate his position as one of Derby favourite Dawn Approach's chief market rivals.

The son of Galileo, a good winner at the Co Dublin track last month, should be properly tested by such as Loch Garman, like Dawn Approach trained by Jim Bolger, and First Cornerstone, both high-class juveniles.

Then at York comes the Dante Stakes, for which O'Brien has Mars and Indian Chief entered against the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Telescope, perceived as the best British challenger for the premier Classic and significantly supported after some sparkling recent homework in Newmarket.

Telescope runs for one of the Highclere ownership syndicates, as does Luca Cumani's charge Greatwood, ruled out of yesterday's contest because of the deteriorating ground, and the two colts may yet face off on the Knavesmire on Thursday.

The Derby Trial at Lingfield has produced eight winners who subsequently scored at Epsom, but none since High-Rise in 1998, though last year's winner, Main Sequence, did subsequently chase home Camelot. It is almost as long since a heroine of the Oaks Trial at the Surrey track went on to double up; Ramruma in 1999 was the most recent of six to have done so.

Like Nevis in the colts' race, the winning filly yesterday, Secret Gesture, routed her rivals, but unlike him she galloped up the Classic betting, now challenging the O'Brien candidate Moth for favouritism. Her trainer, Ralph Beckett, has used the Lingfield race, over very nearly the full Epsom distance and with similar switchback contours, to excellent effect before, when runner-up Look Here went one better at Epsom five years ago. Secret Gesture came home 10 lengths clear of Miss You Too, with Jim Crowley barely engaging third gear on the daughter of Galileo.

"I'm not sure she beat much," said Beckett, "but she showed us what we wanted to see. She's inexperienced but she was very professional and I'm sure she won't have a problem with faster ground."

The Classic focus switches today to Longchamp, where Richard Hannon heads the raiding party for the French equivalents of the 2,000 and 1,000 Guineas with the colts Olympic Glory, the likely favourite, and Havana Gold and the filly Zurigha.

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Voices
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
tv
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine