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CARNTOP with P Smullen

Carntop: an impressive winner at Newmarket last season

  PICTURE: Martin Lynch (  

Carntop looking to book Classic place at Lingfield

CARNTOP was added to the Investec Derby field last month and Saturday's Betfred Derby Trial at Lingfield is likely to go a long way to proving whether or not that was a wise move.


No outstanding candidates emerged from the Derby trials at Chester during the week and Carntop's trainer Ralph Beckett is hoping the promising colt, who comfortably won a Newmarket maiden on his second and final start last season, can justify his place in the Epsom Classic.

Beckett said: "This will tell us whether to go next. His work this spring has been encouraging and we are looking forward to running him. He achieved more at two than his pedigree suggested he would so it seemed like a good idea to put him in the Derby."

He can be backed at a top price of 33-1 for the Derby.

Royal connections

Carntop is a first Derby entry for his owners the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.

The royal couple, who also bred the colt, are not expected to be in attendance at Lingfield on Saturday but could make an appearance at Epsom, where the Queen, in the year of her 90th birthday, has agreed to present the Investec Derby trophy for the first time during her reign.

First, Carntop must come through the Derby Trial at Lingfield, where he faces four rivals.

Epsom trial boost

The highest-rated horse in the race is Humphrey Bogart, who was running on strongly when runner-up to Oaks second favourite So Mi Dar in the Derby Trial at Epsom.

The form of that race was given a boost when the third-placed horse Viren's Army came out and won the Listed Dee Stakes at Chester on Friday

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