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Derby trials, the story so far: Battle Of Marengo form given Sandown boost

| 05.05.2013

Nearly a month before the Derby is due to be contested on the Epsom Downs, the pre-race pecking order is still far from defined. casts an eye over the trials already run to see if any Derby betting pointers can be gleaned.

The Ballysax Stakes – Leopardstown – 14/04/13 – winner: Battle Of Marengo – Derby price: 6/1

A trial won by subsequent Derby winners Galileo and High Chaparral. On his first run at over 1m Battle Of Marengo put the race to bed with the minimum of fuss on ground that, according to trainer Aidan O’Brien, was too soft for him. Sugar Boy in second failed to ask a serious question of him and it’ll interesting to see if the thorough staying type improves for better ground in either the Derrinstown Trial back at this track or the Dante at York, his next likely targets.

Investec Derby Trial – Epsom – 24/04/13 – winner: Mirsaale – Derby price: 50/1

James Tate’s Mirsaale had a somewhat chequered history heading into the race, with a Brighton maiden win his sole top two finish in four career runs, but he won well here having come off the bridle before Gabriel’s Kaka – with whom he fought out the lead up the straight. Epsom’s undulations were no hindrance for this son of 2006 Derby winner Sir Percy and their should be little doubt about him staying the extra 2f for the Derby given his dam’s sire is Sadler’s Wells, progenitor of numerous Derby and St Leger winners.

Bet365 Classic Trial – Sandown – 26/04/13 –  winner: Sugar Boy – Derby price: N/A

There was a fair bit of money around for the Aidan O’Brien trained Eye Of The Storm before the race and he looked set to reward that financial faith when hitting the front 2f from home. However Sugar Boy rallied in admirable fashion to snatch back victory, paying a decent compliment to the form of Battle Of Marengo – who had beaten him by one and three quarter lengths giving 3lbs at Leopardstown.