Aidan O’Brien produced another possible Classic candidate as Alessandro Volta took advantage of Curtain Call’s absence in the totesport.com Derby Trial at Lingfield.
O’Brien, who was not believed to have a golden generation of three-year-olds this time around, already has the 2000 Guineas in his possession through Henrythenavigator and the likes of Kingdom Of Naples and Washington Irving still to test this week.
Lingfield’s flagship race admittedly lost a great deal of interest through the defection of Luca Cumani’s Curtain Call on account of the fast ground, and it developed into a close-knit affair.
Sent off at 6-4, Alessandro Volta made nearly all the running under Johnny Murtagh and although he ran wide around the home bend, he found plenty under pressure to keep stablemate King Of Rome at bay by three-quarters of a length.
“The track wouldn’t have ideally suited him – he’s a big galloping horse and he didn’t come down the hill very well,” said Murtagh.
“But he got his act together in the straight and galloped all the way to the line.
“He moves very well – that should stand him in good stead for Epsom.
“Aidan has a lot of Derby horses but this one will certainly have improved for that run.”
Ladbrokes and Coral are unchanged at 20-1 for Epsom, with Boylesports only half the price.
Godolphin’s woes continued as Feilden Stakes winner Campanologist, transferred from Mark Johnston, had every chance but had to settle for third as the 6-5 favourite.
“There is a question whether he is as good at a mile and a half as a mile and a quarter. The French Derby is a possibility,” said racing manager Simon Crisford.
Miracle Seeker (10-1), a half-sister to Champion Hurdler Katchit, caused a minor surprise with a maiden victory in the totesport 0800 221 221 Oaks Trial.
Clive Cox’s filly also made all under an astute Adam Kirby, while Look Here (2-1) did not appear to handle the undulations but staged a fair recovery to finish a close second.
Cox, also concerned about the going, said: “I’m so chuffed, this is like a fairytale.
“She’s always shown that promise and deserves a chance at the Oaks. She’s in both the English and French.”
Most bookmakers go 33-1 for the English Oaks.
Ralph Beckett tried to put on a brave face after the encouraging return of Look Here, who beat Chester Vase winner Doctor Fremantle last term.
“The winner has done a very good job,” he reflected.
“I was very worried about the ground and we were the only one without a run this season. We’ll make our minds up over the next three weeks.”
The other Group Three, the totesport betXtra Chartwell Fillies’ Stakes, went convincingly to French raider Sabana Perdida (5-2 favourite).
Trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre successfully applied a different bridle, having been unaware of the need to declare a tongue-tie in advance.
“She was third in the Windsor Forest at Ascot last year and we plan to go there again,” said the Frenchman.
Red Rocks (4-6 favourite) had to make his own running in the Enter The Flat totetentofollow Conditions Stakes, but only needed a brief reminder from Jamie Spencer to win pleasingly by half a length.
“That’s just what we wanted and he’s had a good blow afterwards,” explained satisfied handler Brian Meehan.
“Things can change but we’re pretty likely to go for the Tattersalls Gold Cup, with the main plan being the Breeders’ Cup again.”