A replacement all-weather fixture at Lingfield has been scheduled for Monday following the abandonment of racing at Windsor.
After heavy rain following on from a meeting taking place on very soft ground, the course is currently unraceable and officials have decided the best course of action is to give the track time to recover.
The races at Lingfield will mirror those that were due to take place at Windsor as closely as possible.
Windsor’s clerk of the course Sophie Candy said: “Following racing on Monday evening on soft, heavy in places we have had another 21mm rain overnight at Windsor and the track is now unraceable.
“Having raced recently on a combination of soft to heavy ground, current conditions, and the forecast for the week ahead, the decision has been made to move next week’s fixture to allow the track further recovery time.
“We would like to thank the BHA (British Horseracing Authority) and the NTF (National Trainers Federation) for their support in facilitating this move which has been done in the interests of all participants.”
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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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Third Realm threw his hat into the ring for next month’s premier Classic at Epsom with an impressive display in the Novibet Derby Trial at Lingfield.
Fourth on his sole juvenile appearance at Kempton in November, the son of Derby hero Sea The Stars made a successful reappearance at Nottingham last month to earn himself this step up to Listed class.
Ridden with restraint for much of the near mile-and-a-half journey by David Egan, the 14-1 shot was switched wide to mount his challenge rounding the home turn and quickly reeled in the leaders to grab the advantage.
The giant 6-5 favourite Adayar did his best to close the gap, but Egan always looked in control in front and Third Realm was ultimately good value for the winning margin of a length and a quarter.
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.”
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Rank outsider Sherbet Lemon claimed top honours in the Novibet Oaks Trial at Lingfield.
A winner at prohibitive odds on her racecourse debut at Newcastle in February, Archie Watson’s filly was last seen finishing fourth behind the well-bred Oaks contender Noon Star in novice company at Wetherby last month.
Stepping up to Listed class, the American-bred filly was a widely unconsidered 28-1 shot in the hands of Paul Mulrennan, but raced close to the pace throughout and battled her way to the front in the home straight.
There were still plenty in with a chance of victory entering the final furlong, but it was Sherbet Lemon who saw out the near mile-and-a-half trip well to prevail by three-quarters of a length from Save A Forest, with Ocean Road best of the rest in third.
Coral reacted to the surprise result by cutting Sherbet Lemon to 25-1 from 50-1 for the Cazoo Oaks at Epsom on June 4.
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.”
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Martyn Meade believes the experience of running in Lingfield’s Novibet Oaks Trial Fillies’ Stakes could prove invaluable for Technique ahead of a potential bid for Classic glory at Epsom next month.
Successful on her racecourse debut at Wolverhampton in late January, the daughter of Mastercraftsman marked herself out as an Oaks contender when narrowly beaten by Wirko in the Blue Riband Trial at Epsom two and a half weeks ago.
In the immediate aftermath, Meade suggested his filly could head straight for the Cazoo-sponsored showpiece on June 4, but ultimately decided to give her another outing in this weekend’s Listed contest.
“She’s in good shape and obviously coped with Epsom quite well,” said the trainer.
“Initially I thought about going straight to the Oaks, but then I thought we should step her up and make sure she absolutely gets the mile and a half – and having only run twice, I think that bit more experience might help as well.
“We’ve got plenty of time to be able to do it, so she’ll go and take her chance.”
Meade admits the disappointing performance of Wirko in Wednesday’s Chester Vase tempers enthusiasm to some degree, but is nevertheless confident Technique can prove her worth on Saturday.
He added: “It would have been nice to see him (Wirko) boost the form, but that wasn’t to be and maybe that was down to the track or something.
“Technique’s work at home has been good and she came out of Epsom very well, so we’ll roll the dice.
“I think she’ll be fine on slightly softer ground. I don’t think that will be a problem at this stage.”
Hugo Palmer’s Ocean Road has all the right credentials to make up into a nice three-year-old.
Related to Michael Bell’s globetrotter Wigmore Hall, she broke her maiden at the second time of asking with an impressive display on the all-weather at this venue in December.
Palmer said: “She’s done well through the winter and she looks a lot stronger now. Her work has all pointed towards an Oaks trial and now we are at that juncture.
“She’s a half-sister to Wigmore Hall and she’s by a Derby winner (Australia), so she deserves a chance to see what she can do.
“We’re running in a trial to tell us where we are and we’ll know an awful lot more after it.
“The Oaks picture does look open, but we are only halfway through the trials I suppose – we’ve still got the Musidora at York, the Goodwood race and a few others and who knows what is still to come out of Ballydoyle?”
Charlie Appleby’s Nash Nasha has also won on the all-weather at Lingfield and battled well to defy a 7lb penalty on her return to action at Sandown a fortnight ago.
“She’s come out of her last race well and already has a bit of experience there (Lingfield). Admittedly it was on the all-weather, but she’s been there at least,” said Appleby.
“We thought the ground was going to be pretty soft at Chester, so we thought it might be more sensible ground for her at Lingfield.”
John Gosden has saddled three of the last four winners of the Oaks Trial. Now in partnership with son Thady, the Clarehaven handler this year has two contenders, with Frankie Dettori partnering Loving Dream and Martin Harley booked to ride Regent.
Aidan O’Brien’s Divinely is the sole Irish representative, while the Marco Botti-trained Invite, Roger Varian’s Save A Forest and Sherbet Lemon from Archie Watson’s yard complete the line-up.
Ryan Moore, who rides Divinely, told Betfair: “There is some rain around on Saturday and that wouldn’t inconvenience her, as she won her Group Three at the Curragh on heavy ground before running slightly below that level upped in class in the Moyglare.
“She is a sister to Found, so you have to view the step up in trip positively, so she has definite prospects in an open race.”
Adayar gets the opportunity to stake his claim for Epsom glory in the Novibet Derby Trial at Lingfield on Saturday.
Trainer Charlie Appleby began the week with several hopes for the Cazoo Derby on June 5.
But with Wirko and Yibir failing to run up to expectations in the Chester Vase and Dee Stakes earlier in the week, the Moulton Paddocks handler will be hoping Adayar emerges as a legitimate contender for next month’s premier Classic with victory this weekend.
The Frankel colt, who bolted up by nine lengths on his final juvenile start at Nottingham, made a promising start to his three-year-old campaign when runner-up to Alenquer in the Classic Trial at Sandown a couple of weeks ago.
Appleby said: “Adayar is proven on soft ground, although I’m always a little bit hesitant when you win a soft ground maiden. You could just have been the class horse in the race and on any ground you’d win.
“Everyone is testing their (Derby) credentials – and with the other two going to Chester, we thought we’d let Adayar go to Lingfield, where he should get nice, easy ground as well.”
Despite being forced to rule out Epsom favourite High Definition due to unsatisfactory blood results, Aidan O’Brien still fires a twin assault in his bid for a sixth victory in the Listed contest.
Kyprios claimed his second win from three starts at Cork recently, while Tipperary scorer Carlisle Bay makes his first appearance since finishing a close-up third in the Group Three Eyrefield Stakes at Leopardstown in October.
O’Brien, whose Anthony Van Dyck completed the Lingfield-Epsom double two years ago, told Sky Sports Racing: “Carlisle Bay is a tough, solid horse who we always thought would get a mile and a half well.
“He’s a little bit lazy and a little bit laid back, but that’s the way he’s always been and he’s been working nicely.
“Kyprios is a horse we always liked last year. He had a nice run in a winners’ race in Cork a couple of weeks ago and we always thought he would get a mile and a half well as well.
“Both are in good form, we think both will get the trip well and we think both will come on from their runs.”
Richard Hannon’s Etonian and the Andrew Balding-trained Recovery Run both have significant ground to make up on Adayar after finishing seventh and ninth respectively at Sandown last month.
Scope (Ralph Beckett) and Third Realm (Roger Varian) complete the seven-strong field.
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Chris Wall plans to check on ground conditions before giving Double Or Bubble the green light to run in the Novibet Chartwell Fillies’ Stakes at Lingfield on Saturday.
The four-year-old is a full-sister to the Newmarket handler’s former stable star Mix And Mingle, who claimed an impressive victory in this Group Three contest four years ago.
Double Or Bubble has earned herself a step up in class by winning her last three starts, including an impressive return from seven months off the track at Newmarket’s Craven meeting, but Wall is concerned about the forecast of morning rain.
He said: “She came out of her Newmarket race in good shape and did a nice piece of work last week, so I’m very happy with her.
“Our main concern at the moment is the ground because there is some heavy rain forecast, so we shall be monitoring that.
“She’s a filly who is much better suited to a sounder surface than to a soft one, so I’ll have a walk on the track before racing and see what we think and make a decision based on that.
“I think she’s good enough for a race like this, so it would be nice to be able to run her, but obviously it would be even better to run her with her optimum conditions.”
Double Or Bubble’s seven rivals include Andreas Wohler’s German raider Axana. The five-year-old won twice at Group Three level as a three-year-old in 2019, but failed to add to her tally last season.
However, Wohler believes her comeback victory in a Listed event at Hoppegarten last month is proof Axana is back to her best.
“I hope she can run a good race. She has had one run this year and did it quite easy. That form was proven because the filly that was second was second again last Sunday in a Group race in Italy,” said Wohler.
“She’s in good shape. Hopefully the ground stays on the good side, because the weather forecast is not that good. We would not want the ground too soft really.
“She won at Group-race level as a three-year-old and is back to her old form.”
The Clive Cox-trained Isabella Giles won at Group Three and Group Two level as a juvenile last term, and finished sixth on her reappearance in the Fred Darling at Newbury three weeks ago.
Cox said: “We’ve got a drop of rain and she showed a liking for an easier surface last year, particularly when winning the Prestige Stakes at Goodwood.
“We’re sticking to seven furlongs after deciding that was a better idea than stepping up to a mile off the back of her run at Newbury.
“She’s in great form. She has a penalty for a Group Two success last year, but she’s in good order and I see no reason why she won’t like the track.”
Bounce The Blues (Andrew Balding), Huboor (Kevin Ryan), Jouska (Henry Candy), Parent’s Prayer (Archie Watson) and Meu Amor (Ralph Beckett) complete the line-up.
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Aidan O’Brien was on Thursday not ruling out the possibility of running Cazoo Derby favourite High Definition in the Dante Stakes at York next week.
The Ballydoyle handler had hoped to test the unbeaten colt’s Epsom credentials in Saturday’s Novibet Derby Trial at Lingfield, but announced on Wednesday evening he would not be travelling across the Irish Sea due to unsatisfactory blood test results.
Next Thursday’s Dante Stakes is one of the few Derby trials remaining – and O’Brien admits he faces a race against time to give High Definition a run if he is to head for Epsom on June 5.
“His blood count didn’t come back proper – his SAA (Serum Amyloid A) was very high and that is usually an indication of inflammation or infection somewhere, but we couldn’t find either anywhere in his body,” the trainer told Sky Sports Racing.
“He scoped perfect this morning. Maybe it was just one of those things, but we’ll do his bloods every day going forward and see.
“He’s in the Dante and we’ll see what happens over the next few days.”
O’Brien – who confirmed Santa Barbara on course for the Oaks – added: “When that (SAA) marker was high, we wouldn’t usually run with it and we just didn’t want to take a chance.
“It’s a bit of a pity because we were looking forward to it (Lingfield) and the timing and everything was good.
“The Derby has always been his plan and it would be very hard to go into the Derby without a run.
“For us, we need to be getting out, because with the travelling you’d like a bit of time between their first and their second run.
“Hopefully it might come together in the next few days and we’ll be able to start somewhere.”
Speaking later in the day, after Japan’s victory in the Ormonde Stakes at Chester, O’Brien added: “We’ve just been trying to split up all the horses rather than running them against each other. He was high enough yesterday, but today it was better so that’s encouraging.
“The Dante normally is a little bit close to the Derby, but there’s a little bit longer this year and that is probably what we’ll look at. He’ll have to improve every day and go forwards.
“If they (bloods) all came back normal and it had settled down then it’s very possible. Realistically you couldn’t go to the Derby without a run.”
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Cazoo Derby favourite High Definition will miss his intended prep run for Epsom at Lingfield this weekend.
The Galileo colt won each of his two starts as a juvenile, with his striking performance in the Group Two Beresford Stakes at the Curragh in September ensuring he spent the winter months at the head of ante-post lists for the premier Classic.
After saddling Mother Earth to win the Qipco 1000 Guineas at Newmarket last weekend, trainer Aidan O’Brien confirmed Lingfield’s Novibet Derby Trial as the likely starting point for High Definition’s campaign on Saturday.
However, speaking on Wednesday evening, O’Brien ruled his charge out of a trip across the Irish Sea this weekend.
He said: “High Definition won’t be going to Lingfield on Saturday – his bloods just weren’t 100 per cent this evening.
“I’m not sure where he might run. We’ll just have to wait and see how things go over the coming days really.
“We’ll have to play it by ear and see how he is when things settle down.”
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John Gosden has backed Robert Havlin in the wake of the jockey’s 21-day suspension, a ban the rider has confirmed he will not be appealing.
Havlin was riding Stowell at Lingfield, who finished fast only to narrowly fail to catch Polling Day, his stablemate, ridden by Frankie Dettori.
He was found by the stewards to have failed to take all reasonable and permissible measures to ensure Stowell obtained his best possible placing in the Sky Sports Racing HD Virgin 535 Novice Stakes at the Surrey venue, in what the officials termed “an apparently tender hands and heels ride”.
Gosden, though, insists he instructs all his jockeys to avoid using the whip on his newcomers – if at all it can be avoided, and that he was happy with the ride.
“That is an instruction I always give (to not use the whip). I remember a jockey walking into the paddock to ride a two-year-old first time out once and my father took it off him,” Gosden told Racing TV.
“The reason the jockeys have them is to control them or make them concentrate, but on the whole I don’t like it being used on them first time out so he followed my instructions as he always does.
“In terms of the suspension he could have appealed, but he’d have still had a few days off. I think what people don’t clock is how hard these jockeys work. He’s up and down the country, riding work for me at 5.30am, up to Newcastle to ride, back at 11.30pm and then up the next morning.
“He hasn’t had a day off for the guts of 20 months, this is the perfect opportunity for him to take some time off. I know his father is not very well in Scotland so he can go and see him. Take a negative and turn it into a positive.
“I was happy with the ride and it wouldn’t have bothered me if he had got up and beat the other horse as we’re not a gambling stable and neither owner of those horses is interested in betting.
“I don’t know if Rab could have won, I’ve never been a jockey. You have to be a hell of a judge to know you’ll be in front half a stride after the line. He’s riding a horse who has never run before and he’s had issues. It was hands and heels which is all I asked for.
“With horses first time out I think people understand it (will not be hard ridden). When used artistically the stick is an art form, but first time out I don’t like them used on my horses.”
Havlin rode a winner for Gosden at Doncaster on Friday with Side Shot, after which he said: “There were a few avenues we could go down. I spoke to Rory (Mac Neice, solicitor) and we discussed it, but I just didn’t want it to drag on into next week. I wanted to draw a line under it and just move on.
“That’s racing, my lad wasn’t going much quicker in the straight and Frankie’s was and was ridden out.
“I just thought it was the best thing to do (not appeal), put a line under it and walk on.
“I’ll take some time off. I haven’t had a day off in 18 months, so I’ll take some time off and spend it with the kids.”
It has been a trying week for Gosden’s jockeys as the first apprentice he has taken on for a long time, Benoit de la Sayette, who won the Lincoln last month on Haqeeqy, tested positive for a metabolite of cocaine having originally denied taking the drug.
“This is a problem in every town, village and city up and down the country,” said Gosden, who was speaking at Sandown.
“The teenagers have been in lockdown for a year, they are bored stiff and can’t even go and play football with their friends in the park – they are looking for another stimulant.
“You don’t have to be Einstein to see alcohol sales have gone through the roof, people are drinking more because they are bored looking at the walls.
“These kids are no different, to that extent they need all the support they can get – and a firm talking to.
“You could probably go into Esher now and find some cocaine in a beer garden – but remember it also suppresses appetite, if you are a jockey wasting. If you drink alcohol you’ve got sugar and carbohydrates that go with that so it’s another way of having a good time – but it’s illegal and it’s got to be stamped out.
“Urine samples are one thing, but hair samples are another. He was messing around with it at the beginning of the year and he’s paid a mighty price.
“I see no harm in doing more testing, it’s an obvious place to go.”
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Robert Havlin will not appeal against the 21-day ban he incurred for his ride aboard Stowell at Lingfield on Wednesday.
Havlin was found to have failed to take all reasonable and permissible measures to ensure Stowell obtained his best possible placing in the Sky Sports Racing HD Virgin 535 Novice Stakes at the Surrey venue.
The rider was aboard John and Thady Gosden’s second string in the 12-furlong heat, with Stowell going off a 16-1 chance while stablemate Polling Day, the mount of Frankie Dettori, was the 2-9 favourite.
Stowell made eyecatching late progress in the final furlong and was eventually beaten a head by his stable companion under what the stewards termed “an apparently tender hands and heels ride”.
Havlin was given a 21-day ban, which rules him out May 5-8 and 10-26 inclusive, and after considering an appeal, the Professional Jockeys Association has announced he will not contest the suspension.
The PJA tweeted: “We can confirm that having reviewed the race and taken advice, Rab Havlin has decided not to appeal the decision of the Lingfield stewards.”
Havlin rode a winner for the Gosdens at Doncaster on Side Shot, after which he said: “There were a few avenues we could go down. I spoke to Rory (Mac Neice, solicitor) and we discussed it, but I just didn’t want it to drag on into next week. I wanted to draw a line under it and just move on.
“That’s racing, my lad wasn’t going much quicker in the straight and Frankie’s was and was ridden out.
“I just thought it was the best thing to do, put a line under it and walk on.
“I’ll take some time off. I haven’t had a day off in 18 months, so I’ll take some time off and spend it with the kids.”
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Robert Havlin has been banned for 21 days by the Lingfield stewards after finishing second aboard Stowell at the track on Wednesday evening.
Havlin rode John and Thady Gosden’s second string in the Sky Sports Racing HD Virgin 535 Novice Stakes, with Stowell going off a 16-1 chance while stablemate Polling Day, the mount of Frankie Dettori, was the 2-9 favourite.
The market leader was in front at the turn for home in the 12-furlong contest, with Stowell in fourth and meeting a few traffic problems in behind.
Polling Day looked likely to win by a comfortable margin as he forged on for Dettori at the furlong pole, however, Stowell made up plenty of ground in the closing stages and was eventually beaten a head.
The stewards inquired into the performance as they felt Stowell had been given “an apparently tender hands and heels ride” round the bend and in the straight.
Havlin stated he was told “to settle the colt and ride him to obtain his best possible position”, adding Stowell “was a fragile type who had a high knee action, and that John Gosden had instructed him to ride the colt hands and heels and not to use his whip”.
The rider, who also told the stewards the pace of the race did not suit at halfway and he had to switch his mount to get a run, felt the winner had idled in front and “therefore it appeared that Stowell had finished faster than he actually had”.
The trainers’ representative stated they were satisfied with the ride and pleased with Stowell’s debut effort, but the stewards decided Havlin had not taken all reasonable and permissible measures to ensure Stowell obtained his best possible placing.
Havlin was given a 21-day ban, which rules him out May 5-8 and 10-26 inclusive.
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Khuzaam blitzed the field with an impressive performance to win the Bombardier All-Weather Mile Championships Conditions Stakes at Lingfield.
Hitting the front on the turn for home, Khuzaam (6-4 favourite) quickly put daylight between himself and his rivals with a devastating turn of foot.
Jack Mitchell sat on the heels of the pace-making Canagat in the early stages before making his move.
The response from the Roger Varian-trained five-year-old was immediate and he romped away to score by five lengths from Mums Tipple. Bless Him stayed on for third place, another length away.
Mitchell said: “That was nice and smooth. His work has improved a lot since he won at Chelmsford and the gelding operation has obviously helped him.
“I think he has a lot of class – and he has miles left on the clock, so we will see where he can go.
“It could not have gone any better.
“Roger and I spoke this morning – Khuzaam is a big horse and not one you’d want to drag back, and the race being here at Lingfield meant that we wanted to utilise that, really, even though we were going up a furlong.
“Once I asked him to change gear, he put the race to bed very quickly. I think there is improvement in him.
“Thank you to Shadwell and to Roger for sticking with me. It is very nice to have a winner in these colours.”
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