Derby trials over weekend produce one outstanding candidate
BOLSHOI BALLET was an impressive winner of the Derristown Derby Trial on Sunday at Leopardstown and as a result is now a clear favourite for the Epsom Derby on 6th June. Sitting handily behind the Jim Bolger pacemaker throughout, Ryan Moore settled the race in a matter of moments when asking his colt to stretch off the home bend, and he never showed any signs of stopping on the run-in to the line.
He eventually came home 6l clear of stablemate Lough Derg, with Bolger’s first string Mac Swiney somewhat disappointing back in fourth, albeit it was his seasonal debut. Bolshoi Ballet was confirming the promise of his victory in the Ballysax over the same course and distance last month and put behind him a poor run on heavy ground in France at the back end of last season. As a son of Galileo he looks the one to beat now at Epsom and to follow up in the style of past Ballydoyle winners at Epsom like Australia and Anthony van Dyck.
He also has bucked the form of the Aidan O’Brien 3yo colts in 2021, who have otherwise looked either short of the mark or simply out of sorts.
2019 Epsom winner Anthony van Dyck took in the Lingfield Derby Trial en route to Derby glory, but the two O’Brien runners in this year’s renewal were both extremely disappointing. THIRD REALM was the victor in Surrey, continuing his progression from landing a mere Nottingham maiden last month. He does hold an Epsom entry and at least displayed good balance around the undulating track and now has winning form on both fast and slow conditions. He does look a little way below the level required for a Classic yet.
ADAYAR travelled best for most of the Lingfield race, but had to give best for the second time this season. However he would still hold outside claims to give Frankel his first Derby winner, especially if the ground dried out somewhat.
Further Epsom clues will be presented at York this week with the Dante Stakes the main trial, which we will analyse later this week.