Saturday’s Group 3 Betfred Derby Trial has been switched from the turf to the all-weather track for the first time in the history of the race as a result of the turf track being waterlogged following incessant rain that has fallen in Surrey over the last few weeks, writes Elliot Slater.
The change of plan leaves trainers who were anticipating running their charges in the key trial for Derby run at Epsom during the Betfair Epsom Derby Festival on June 2, with something of a quandary. With many having tailored training schedules to take in the Lingfield contest and leave a perfect three week gap to the big race itself they will be loathe to miss out on getting a run into their horses, but the prospect of competing on the Polytrack will certainly throw something of a spanner into the works for many who feel their chances might be compromised by the change of conditions.
The original Lingfield card, which also includes the Oaks Trial, was to include five turf contests and two all-weather races, but clerk of the course Neil Mackenzie Ross has been forced to sanction the switch rather than abandon the track’s premier fixture of the season.
Amongst the potential contenders in the horse racing betting for the mile-and-a-half contest both Ed De Gas and Main Sequence are unbeaten in all three career outings respectively, the former having won at both Lingfield and Wolverhampton on Polytrack before hacking up on turf at Catterick last month. David Lanigan’s Main Sequence has impressed in two handicap wins at Newmarket, most recently at the Craven meeting where he stayed on strongly over a mile-and-a-quarter.
Other entries for the Lingfield contest include the Epsom Derby Trial winner Goldoni, the promising Marcus Tregoning-trained Cavailero, Richard Hannon’s Tattersalls Millions winner Rougemont, and the John Gosden-trained pair of Shantaram and Thought Worthy.