Review Of Lingfield’s Derby Trial: Knight To Behold Enters Derby Picture Following Lingfield Trial Victory

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Knight To Behold – 20-1 with Coral. 4.30pm Epsom Saturday 2nd June

With an entry of 26 including even money favourite Saxon Warrior Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien would appear to have a stranglehold on this year’s Investec Derby at Epsom but Lambourn handler Harry Dunlop introduced a credible rival to the all-conquering Ballydoyle bandwagon in the shape of his Lingfield Betfred Derby Trial winner Knight To Behold.

Thirty years have gone by since High Rise became the last horse to win Lingfield’s Derby Trial before going on to take the Epsom Classic but the son of Sea The Stars looks decent each-way value at the 20-1 available with several bookmakers including Ladbrokes and William Hill to buck the trend in the ‘ Blue Riband ‘ of the turf on the first Saturday in June.

The lightly-raced colt showed plenty of promise as a juvenile, going down by a nose on his debut at Newbury last September prior to showing plenty of guts and determination to beat his six rivals over a mile at Newmarket the following month. With a pedigree steeped in stamina Knight To Behold was never going to be seen at his best until running over middle-distances, leading to his seasonal reappearance coming in the Lingfield trial over one mile three and a half furlongs.

The mount of Richard Kingscote was sent off a 7-1 chance behind 8-11 favourite Kew Gardens from the O’Brien stable and his rider was determined to bring the colt’s stamina into play, taking the lead a mile out before shooting a good seven lengths clear with three furlongs to run. Try as he might Kew Gardens and Ryan Moore never looked like getting to the enterprisingly-ridden winner who had over three lengths to spare passing the post.

Dunlop, whose father John won the Derby with Shirley Heights and Erhaab, is hoping to persuade Knight To Behold’s owner Neil Jones to let the colt take his chance at Epsom, saying: “ I think the way he won here you’ve got to have a go. I hope so anyway.” With proven stamina and the ability to handle a course similar to Epsom Knight To Behold looks a value alternative to Saxon Warrior and whatever Ballydoyle decide to run on Saturday 2nd June.

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