No Derby date for Dordogne
The Derby market, in the absence of 2,000 Guineas winner Frankel, is waiting for a seminal performance to emerge from the current round of Classic eliminators to capture the imagination anew. There may be one at Leopardstown this afternoon, or at York later in the week, but events at Lingfield yesterday will definitely not impact on next month's Blue Riband; neither Dordogne nor Hurricane Higgins, the first two home in the Surrey track's trial, is entered at Epsom.
Each is trained by Mark Johnson and though the trailblazing winner ran home straight and true under Neil Callan, the runner-up showed waywardness worthy of his namesake, at one point colliding with the running rail. Despite his antics, though, he was beaten only half a length. Next month's Royal Ascot meeting is likely to be the next date for either or both of the pair. "They'd have to be supplemented for the Derby and I think that's unlikely," confirmed Johnson. Dordogne runs under the banner of Sheikh Mohammed, who has more obvious candidates in Casamento and Genius Beast.
The 2,000 Guineas apart, the most significant domestic Derby trial is the Dante Stakes and in Thursday's renewal the first two in the Epsom betting, World Domination and Carlton House, are due to have their mettle tested by last year's Racing Post Trophy runner-up Seville. The last-named's trainer, Aidan O'Brien, took a trial at Chester last week with a perceived lesser light, Treasure Beach, and today sends Recital, a top-level winner in France last term but beaten on his seasonal debut, back to the fray in Ireland's key rehearsal. The Coolmore team uncovered another potential Epsom candidate when Pour Moi ran out an impressive winner at Saint-Cloud yesterday evening.
Lingfield's Oaks trial has a good record as a pointer – three years ago the runner-up Look Here went on to take the real thing and 12 months later the winner Midday was beaten a head at Epsom – and yesterday the unheralded Zain Al Boldan, from the Mick Channon stable, galloped into the big-race reckoning. The Poliglote filly matched Midday's winning distance of six lengths, finding a unsuspected burst of speed – she had previously scrambled home in a Folkestone handicap – as she romped clear of favourite Field Of Miracles to take her winning sequence to three from three. She is now around 12-1, from 66-1 to give owner Jaber Abdullah a first Classic.
A line was finally drawn yesterday under top-level jumping until next winter as Nicky Henderson notched a treble at the final session of the Punchestown festival – with Bellvano, Grandouet and Shakalakaboomboom – and Eradicate gave owner Alan Spence some compensation for Hurricane Higgins' defeat by winning the Swinton Hurdle at Haydock.
Latest in Sport
Paul Scholes: Manchester United vs Liverpool - I don't understand why Brendan Rodgers was not more attacking against Basel
Jesus Christ plays for Chelsea - that's what one in five children thinks
Transfer Talk: Nemanja Vidic to return to Manchester United; Hazard to leave Chelsea; Sunderland want Radamel Falcao
Frank Warren column: Don't bet on Amir Khan landing pay day against Floyd Mayweather
Manchester United transfer news: Kevin Strootman move edges closer
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Germany sees 'visible rise' in support for far-right extremism in response to perceived 'Islamisation' of the West
£40k - 45k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: We are currently recruit...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: C#.Net Developer - C#, ASP.Net, HTML...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the South West'...
£25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An expanding business based in ...