Dubai: The powerful Aidan O’Brien stable continued to dominate the British Classic trials with Anthony Van Dyke enhancing his Epsom Derby status when recoridng a resolute 2 ½ length victory in the Lingfield Derby Trial Stakes on Saturday.
The track at the Surrey racecourse has drawn similarities to that at Epsom Down, particularly on the Tattenham Corner-like downhill turn prior to the home straight.
Horses like Slip Anchor and High Rise have enjoyed success at Lingfield en route to greater glory at Epsom.
With Ryan Moore once again in the irons, Anthony Van Dyck, ran on strongly inside the final two furlongs to out-duel Pablo Escobar, the mount of James Doyle.
The winner joins the likes of other O’Brien-trained colts including Sir Dragonet, Japan, Broome and Circus Masimus, who feature in the ante-post Derby markets.
Anthony Van Dyck was cut to 8-1 (from 14s) by leading odds-makers behind the favourite Sir Dragonet (4-1), Too Darn Hot (9-2) and Japan (7-1).
Charlie Appleby, who won the Derby last year for Godolphin with Masar, relies on Line Of Duty (16-1) to repeat the feat.
Moore, who has not had the opportunity to sit on Sir Dragonet, told ITV4: “I was very happy with him. He was very smooth, travelled beautifully the whole round and took me there very comfortably.
“I thought he’d slightly need the run today and he had a blow at the two [furlong pole], and then he’s gone again,” he told Racing TV.
“He has always had a marvellous attitude and we always felt he would stay a bit further. He’s a nice horse to have and will definitely improve for the run.”
Meanwhile, the John Gosden-trained Anapurna announced herself to be an Epsom Oaks (G1) contender when posting a comfortable victory in the Lingfield Oaks Trial.
The winner, ridden by Frankie Dettori, raced in the colours of popular textile brand Helena Springfield Ltd whose horses race out of the Meon Valley Stud.
Dettori said: “She showed a good mind, she was green at times but has only run three times including today. She handled the bend well and in the straight once she got balanced she put the race to be very quickly.