A review of Saturday afternoon's card at Lingfeld as Roger Varian won the Derby trial with Third Realm.
THIRD REALM was cut to as short as 8/1 for the Cazoo Derby after winning the Novibet Derby Trial Stakes at Lingfield on Saturday.
Roger Varian and Sheikh Mohammed Obaid struck with El Drama in the Dee Stakes at Chester in the week and while that horse looks bound for the French Derby, Third Realm looks all set for Epsom.
The outsider of the field at 14/1, the Nottingham maiden winner was held up under David Egan and swooped in the straight to go clear.
Adayar tried to keep tabs on the winner and gave him the most to do as the pair pulled clear, but the 6/5 favourite was a length and a quarter behind Third Realm at the line.
Paddy Power initially had a different view to the bookies going 8s with a past-the-post quote of 16s, but that was swiftly cut to 10s as the market settled down.
Varian said: “It goes without saying we’re delighted with that performance today.
“We thought he’d run well. It’s the nature of the business that you’re cautiously optimistic when you’re going from a maiden to a recognised trial, but it isn’t a surprise – he’s a colt we think a lot of.
“He won nicely at Nottingham. I was worried about the ground, to be honest, but I thought if he handled conditions he’d be well up to running a nice race.”
Paddy Power reacted to the victory by cutting the winner to 10-1 from 100-1 for the Cazoo Derby at Epsom on June 5.
Varian added: “I’ve yet to speak with the owner (Sheikh Mohammed Obaid), so we’ll not set anything in stone just yet and most importantly we need to see how the horse comes out of today’s race.
“He ticks a lot of the boxes (for Epsom) in that he’s won a recognised trial, it looks like he’ll get the trip and he’s won on good to firm ground at Nottingham and in pretty testing conditions today.
“He’s a neat, well balanced colt who ought to handle the undulations of Epsom.”
14:50 Lingfield | Full result and free video replay
Winning Trainer: R Varian | Winning Jockey: David Egan
SHERBET LEMON caused a shock when winning the Novibet Oaks Trial Fillies’ Stakes at 28/1 at Lingfield.
Archie Watson’s grey daughter of Lemon Drop Kid came with a late run to edge a bunched finish on the soft ground over the extended 1m3f.
Fourth last time behind Noon Star at Wetherby, she managed to reverse that form with runner-up Loving Dream who finished fifth here after making most of the running.
Save A Forest also ran on from the back for second, with Ocean Road, who travelled best of all on the inside, having to settle for third.
Both Betfair Sportsbook and Paddy Power cut the winner to 33/1 from 66/1 for the Cazoo Oaks at Epsom next month.
The winner is owned by Apple Tree Stud, which is managed by former leading National Hunt jockey Robert ‘Choc’ Thornton.
He said: “She wasn’t far behind John Gosden’s horse (Loving Dream) at Wetherby last time. She was favourite for the race today (finished fifth) and there were extenuating circumstances for our filly, as she was stood in the stalls for 10 minutes and got shuffled back.
“We thought she’d run well today, but she’s surprised us that she’s won.”
Asked whether Epsom would be next on the agenda, Thornton added: “I think we sort of have to, don’t we?
“I’m not sure how many chances (you get) to do that type of thing – it’s a dream to have runners in those type of races.
“She’s handled all types of ground and handled the undulations today, so we may as well have a go.
“She’ll stay galloping, so you never know, she could run into a place.”
Apple Tree Stud were completing a double on the card following the earlier success of the Alan King-trained Inchicore (5/2) in the 20 Sports Welcome Offer At Novibet Handicap.
Thornton said: “That filly looks like she’s destined for black type as well, so it’s been a great day for the breeding operation.”
14:15 Lingfield | Full result and free video replay
Winning Trainer: A Watson | Winning Jockey: P Mulrennan
German raider Axana proved too strong for the British contingent in the Novibet Chartwell Fillies’ Stakes at Lingfield.
A dual winner at Group Three level in her homeland two seasons ago, the five-year-old failed to add to her tally in 2020, but made a successful start to the current campaign in a Listed event at Hoppegarten last month.
With likely favourite Double Or Bubble a late withdrawal on account of the rain-softened ground, Andreas Wohler’s charge was a 4/1 shot in the hands of Jason Watson and travelled strongly towards the head of affairs throughout.
Axana did drift slightly right under pressure inside the final furlong, briefly impeding eventual runner-up Bounce The Blues.
The stewards did call an inquiry into possible interference, but with Watson’s mount ultimately well on top as she passed the post with three-quarters of a length in hand, the placings remained unaltered.
Wohler said: “She’s a good filly and Jason gave her a good ride.
“She had some issues last year, which is why she had a short season.
“This year everything was right, she came back in the correct style, so we were hopeful for today.
“We will see if we can find another race for her in England or France. We’ll see how the filly is and discuss it with connections.
“It’s not easy to bring a runner over to England, especially at this time, so I’m very pleased.”
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