Cap Francais the Value in Lingfield Derby Trial

The Lingfield Derby Trial is often a well contested one because the track has a similar feel to it to Epsom. Many trainers will target this race with a horse to work out whether or not their horse will handle the twists and turns of Epsom. Aidan O’Brien is a regular here, and he sends over the favourite for the race, Anthony Van Dyck, who has solid form credentials. However, he is very short in the betting for a horse having his first run back this season, and the value in the race may be with the Ed Walker trained Cap Francais, who has the benefit of a recent run.

He came second in the trial race at Epsom, behind an O’Brien horse, so the Irish yard will know where they stand with the selection. However, I think the additional furlong here will really help Cap Francais, and if he is more settled today and handles the prelims a little better, he can put up an even better performance and set a high standard for Anthony Van Dyck to aim at.

At Epsom he got warm beforehand and looked like an agitated horse, something we haven’t seen from him before. Hopefully that was just a sign that this horse was having his first run back of the season, and that won’t be apparent here because it certainly didn’t help his chances in the Epsom race.

The ground will be a big deciding factor in this race, with the going currently described as soft. Both Cap Francais and Anthony Van Dyck have raced on good to soft before, and who handles the slightly slower conditions on the day may be the one to come out on top. 1m3f on soft ground is not an ideal starting point for Anthony Van Dyck, which is another reason to be negative about the O’Brien horse, and that is enough to push me away from him and in search of value elsewhere.

I’m not so sure that Cap Francais is a genuine Derby contender, or that he will work out as being the best of these over time, but there are things in his favour tomorrow that give him a good chance of winning. He offers solid value against the O’Brien short priced favourite, and he is the pick to land the Lingfield Derby Trial on Saturday.