ITV Racing tips: Adayar can end Godolphin’s search for live Derby candidate
The Flat season’s Classics are out of the way and already a familiar pattern has emerged.
Ireland had both the aces as Poetic Flare took the 2000 Guineas and Mother Earth the 1000 Guineas to continue a greenwash of Britain’s big prizes that began at Cheltenham.
A quick glance at the Derby and Oaks markets underlines Irish strength in depth, notably within the Aidan O’Brien stable, as attention turns to the next two Classics.
While the prizes for Chester’s trials remained at home, none of the winners delivered a compelling enough performance to shake up the front of the betting.
There is still time for that to change as we move onto Lingfield for trials for the Oaks and Derby, and at Leopardstown on Sunday where Bolshoi Ballet and Mac Swiney are set to clash.
As ante-post Derby favourite High Definition was not declared to run at Lingfield, which had been his intended target, his position could be at risk.
Last year English King won at Lingfield so impressively he was catapulted to Derby favouritism and 12 months earlier Anthony Van Dyck took the prize before triumphing in the Epsom Classic.
The two Lingfield trials form part of a bumper ITV schedule comprising nine races, which also takes in the Swinton Hurdle at Haydock plus racing from Ascot, where the features is the ultra-competitive Victoria Cup.
It all unfolds from 13:30pm on ITV4 and we have previewed the three most significant races of the day in our ITV Racing tips.
A race that has been back on the up lately with recent winners Anapurna going on to land the Oaks in 2019 and last year’s heroine Miss Yoda claiming the German Oaks.
John Gosden, who trained both those fillies, is represented this time by Loving Dream who can boost the form of leading Oaks contender Noon Star, who beat her at Wetherby, with a strong performance.
Aidan O’Brien has sent over Divinely, a Group 3 winner, who is bound to appreciate the step up in distance as the sister of Arc and Breeders’ Cup winner Found.
Technique could be the answer. The Martyn Meade filly ran a very good second to the colt Wirko in Epsom’s Blue Riband Trial, travelling strongly for a long way, only getting caught in the final strides.
A stable as powerful as Godolphin should be able to match up with Coolmore/Ballydoyle in the big races.
It certainly has the numbers but, with occasional exceptions, the Aidan O’Brien team usually comes out on top.
Master Of The Seas missed his chance to redress the balance of power, beaten a short head second in the 2000 Guineas and now the hunt is on for a credible Derby challenger.
Wirko was only fourth in the Chester Vase so a lot rests on Adayar, Charlie Appleby’s shortest-priced Derby entry. He won his maiden last year by nine lengths and ran a very promising second in Sandown’s Classic Trial, finishing strongly from off the pace.
The son of Frankel faces two Ballydoyle opponents, Kyprios and Carlisle Bay, but has more to offer if he can take a step forward from his last effort.
A maximum field of 29 line up for this famous 7f handicap up the Ascot straight.
There could be plenty of each-way value to be found and the likes of Chiefofchiefs, Greenside, Motakhayyel and Tinto have arguable cases to make the frame.
Track form often counts. Last season Chiefofchiefs won the Wokingham consolation, Motakhayyel won the Buckingham Palace, in which Greenside was a close up seventh, at the royal meeting, while Tinto runs off a rating just 1lb above the mark at which he gained his course win.
Fox Champion has less convincing course form but, now gelded and in different hands, looked a ready made next-time-out winner on his debut for Ralph Beckett when running into third place, after meeting traffic problems, at Haydock.
He was highly tried as a three-year-old by Richard Hannon and after winning the German 2000 Guineas, finished seventh in the St James’s Palace Stakes and third in the Prix Jean Prat won by Too Darn Hot. He has not added to his score since but, off a mark of 95, having been as high as 110, this could be his chance to begin the comeback.
ITV Racing Schedule, Saturday, 8th May
13:55 Ascot – Handicap Stakes
14:15 Lingfield – Oaks Trial
14:30 Ascot – Buckhounds Stakes
14:50 Lingfield – Derby Trial
15:10 Haydock – Swinton Hurdle
15:25 Lingfield – Chartwell Stakes
15:40 Ascot – Victoria Cup
16:00 Lingfield – 7½f handicap
16:15 Ascot – 1m4f handicap
All odds and markets are correct as of the date of publishing.