Sport Horse Racing

Friday 27 April 2018

Best Solution denies O'Brien

Pat Cosgrave:
Pat Cosgrave: "We went a good gallop and they didn’t hang about." Photo: Getty Images

Marcus Armytage

There was a surprise at Lingfield yesterday when Aidan O'Brien did not win the Betfred Derby Trial. Having won the three trials last week there was a degree of expectation about Sir John Lavery but he was slow away from the stalls and, it appeared, slow everywhere else.

Godolphin's Best Solution, who was also lumbered with a 5lb penalty for his exploits as a two-year-old, won by three and a quarter lengths. By Kodiac, whose progeny are not best known for stamina, he was runner-up in a Group One at Saint-Cloud last time out as a juvenile but showed very little on the dirt in Dubai earlier this year and he was clearly pleased to be back on turf.

He earned a quote of 16-1 for the Derby, although Saeed bin Suroor, his trainer, gave the impression he preferred Benbatl, who goes to York for the Dante on Thursday. However, he said the colt had had a break since Dubai and that he expected him to improve on this run.

Having proven himself over the distance and the topography, he should go to the Derby with a reasonable each-way chance.

Winning jockey Pat Cosgrave said: "We went a good gallop and they didn't hang about. A penalty usually gets good horses beat. He probably wouldn't want the ground too fast but he's a nice size and will handle Epsom no problem. You need US-bred horses for the dirt and he showed that today."

The Betfred Mobile Oaks Trial looked as if it would go to the O'Brien filly Pocketfullofdreams when she began to stretch clear in the straight. Indeed at one stage it looked like a case of how far she would win by.

However, Hertford Dancer (8/1) picked up well inside the last furlong for Frankie Dettori and not only reeled her in but won by a length and a half going away.

Hertford Dancer is a first venture into ownership for the exclusive London club, 5 Hertford Street. There were six lengths back to the third, giving the impression the front two might be useful, but her trainer was not fooled. A pragmatic John Gosden said: "Supplementing her for Epsom wouldn't be the smartest move. It would be like giving all the money away."

Meanwhile, Gordon Elliott proved his versatility as he recorded a first two-year-old winner in saddling Beckford to make a successful debut at the Curragh.

The son of Bated Breath quickened to lead inside the final quarter-mile and Declan McDonogh drove him out to beat Red Persian by three-quarters of a length.

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