Lingfield Derby Trial Stakes Betting

Trial races for three-year-olds likely to run in June’s Epsom Derby are conducted at various racecourses beginning in April. One of the most anticipated pre-Derby events is the Lingfield Derby Trial Stakes, which takes place at Lingfield Park on a Saturday in early May.

This £60,000 Group 3 race covers a distance of one mile, three furlongs and 106 yards on the left-handed turf of the Lingfield Park track. Entry is restricted to three-year-old Thoroughbred colts and geldings, each of which carries a weight of eight stone twelve pounds. Penalties are applied to entries successful in previous races of seven furlongs or longer, amounting to seven pounds for Group 1 winners, five pounds for Group 2 winners and three pounds for Group 3 winners.

The course here has some similarities to the famous run at Epsom Downs, which is also left-handed and features undulating terrain with a downhill turn that leads into the home straight. Since its first running in 1932, the Lingfield Derby Trial Stakes has delivered several winners that doubled up with a Derby crown, including the inaugural champion April the Fifth and the most recent one, High-Rise, in 1998.

Other Derby Trial/Epsom Derby winners include Teenoso in 1983, Slip Anchor in 1985 and Kahyasi in 1988. The 1952 champion, Tulyar, won not only the Epsom Downs classic but also the St. Leger Stakes before the year was out.

Sayajirao got his maiden victory here in 1947 and went on to win the St. Leger Stakes that year. Other steeds to win here and in the St. Leger include Alcide in 1958, Bustino in 1974 and Silver Patriarch in 1997.

Calor, one of the earliest sponsors of the Lingfield Derby Trial Stakes, was replaced by Maxims Club in 1991. Thereafter, Alpine Double Glazing, Jardine Insurance Brokers, Tripleprint, Coloroll and Pertemps each had a turn at backing the event during the 1990s.

In 2000, Gartner took up the title role, followed by Arena Racing, Sky Channel, Gallagher Group Ltd. and Letheby & Christopher. Then, in 2006, became the primary sponsor and they have remained so ever since.

The leading jockey in the Lingfield Derby Trial Stakes with six wins is Alcide’s rider Harry Carr. He got his other five wins atop Black Tarquin in 1948, Aureole in 1953, Doutelle in 1957, Parthia in 1959 and Pardao in 1961. More recently, Johnny Murtagh teamed up with trainer Aidan O’Brien to ride a pair of victors back-to-back—Alessandro Volta in 2008 and Age Of Aquarius in 2009.

But when it comes to training winners for the Lingfield Derby Trial Stakes, nobody can match Cecil Boyd-Rochfort and his ten triumphs here. He schooled all six of Carr’s winning mounts and added four others for good stead, namely Hypnotist in 1939, Brown Rover in 1949, North Carolina in 1951 and Jet Stream in 1960.

Bookmakers have been doing quite well at setting odds for this event since the turn of the new millennium. Among the favourites they’ve picked correctly were Saddler’s Quest paying 100/30 in 2000, Perfect Sunday finishing first at 11/8 in 2001 and Linda’s Lad delivering at 15/8 odds in 2006. Age Of Aquarius was also a winning favourite at 8/11.

That’s not to say they always get it right, of course. In 2007, Aqaleem put four lengths between his tail and the nearest chaser to pay out at 12/1. Then, it was Dordogne’s turn to cheat the odds in 2011, romping home well-ahead of 5/4 Measuring Time and beating 2/1 Hurricane Higgins by half a length to bring a 10/1 payout to his backers.

Visitors who attend the Lingfield Derby Trial in person have no difficulty placing a wager on the outcome. Tote locations can be found all around the racecourse, with minimum stakes from just £2. First-time race-goers may wish to take advantage of a promotion called “The Essential Package.” It includes a premier entrance ticket, a racecard, a £10 Tote betting booklet (a £2 bet plus £8 added-value bets), and £10 worth of food and drink vouchers, all for just £29 per person on Derby Trial day.

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