Chabal, disappointing when favourite for the Dewhurst Stakes last autumn, seeks a fresh start today when he makes his Godolphin debut in the Bet365 Classic Trial at Sandown, one of two races screened in a lunchtime special on Channel 4.
Trained by Jim Bolger last year, the Galileo colt was second in the National Stakes just eight days after winning a maiden at the Curragh, but dropped out after showing up well for a long way on faster ground at Newmarket. He steps up in trip for this Investec Derby trial, but may not match the progress expected in Waseet, runner-up in the Royal Lodge Stakes last autumn.
Andrew Balding, whose three-year-olds have started the season so well, warns that Simenon, winner of the Newmarket maiden in which Waseet made his debut last summer, may not be so quick out of the blocks. "He's a gelding, and was probably a little slower to come to hand than some of the others," he said. "I would have thought the race would bring him on a bundle. He's a fair horse on his day, but it looks a very strong trial."
The opener often produces a smart type and it looks significant that John Gosden should have chosen Fallen Idol, with so many maiden winners in his care, as his representative. Another, Commissionaire, contests the conditions race later on the card and can confirm himself one to follow this summer.