2:40 Lingfield, 7th May – SBK Derby Trial

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There have been 9 winners of this race who have gone on to win the Derby itself, but in the modern era only Anthony Van Dyck (2019) has achieved the double, though the 2021 winner Adayar was a close 2nd in this race. Just 5 runners go to post for this year’s race but there is an odd shape to the market. Walk of Stars (Appleby) heads the market and he features prominently in the Antepost betting for Epsom, 9/1 at the time of writing, with his connections choosing to come here instead of the Dante at York next week. He was last seen winning a 3-runner conditions race at Newbury and whilst he did it well enough, the other 2 have been well beaten on their next starts and so at a touch of odds on, he is perhaps worth opposing. Charlie Appleby also runs Natural World, who won on debut at the same Newbury meeting, but he had the complete run of that race out in front and is unlikely to get the same scenario again. With United Nations and Zechariah both looking one paced on their comebacks, the process of elimination has led us to LIONEL.

He is still a maiden but holds all the right entries and was a fast-finishing 3rd to Natural World last time. His dam, Gretchen, was. A strong staying Galileo mare who won over 14-furlongs and so he would be entitled to improve on this more galloping track. After only 2 starts he is open to any amount of improvement and should be doing his best work in the closing stages.

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