LINDA'S LAD PRIMED FOR totesport.com DERBY TRIAL AT LINGFIELD ON SATURDAY
French maestro Andre Fabre will saddle Linda's Lad in the £60,000 totesport.com Derby Trial Stakes at Lingfield Park on Saturday, May 13.
Herve Barjot, racing manager to owner Sean Mulryan, revealed that the Sadler's Wells colt will run in the Group Three extended 11-furlong contest as he bids to step up on his comeback fourth behind stablemate Gentlewave in a Group Two event at Longchamp on April 17.
Barjot said today: "Linda's Lad is due to run at Lingfield on Saturday in the totesport.com Derby Trial. He has definitely come on since his race at Longchamp and is very well.
"While we were slightly disappointed with his last run, the race was not run to suit. He had to make the running, but he is a horse who likes to run behind a good pace, and he had no chance to take a second breath.
"Although he was fourth, he was not far behind the winner [beaten under a length]. Most of the others had a run under their belts and we are expecting a better performance this time."
Linda's Lad numbered the Group One Criterium de Saint-Cloud among his three victories last year, and as such will have to carry a 7lb penalty in the totesport.com Derby Trial, although connections are not unduly concerned by the extra burden.
Barjot continued: "The Group One penalty is a slight worry, but he has that weight for a reason. He is a colt with a touch of quality, and we hope that will be confirmed on Saturday.
"The left-handed track is definitely what he needs - he doesn't like going right-handed at courses like Longchamp. Good ground will be fine for him but he has never run on very quick ground.
"Being by Sadler's Wells, the trip will be no problem for him. We hope to be in the first three and are confident he will run very well - if he does, he will head to Epsom for the Derby."
Among those set to take their chance is the Terry Mills-trained Before You Go, who landed the Weatherbys Bank Blue Riband Trial Stakes at Epsom last month.
Marcus Tregoning will make a decision on Botteen's participation later today, after talking with owner Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum, who could also be represented by the Mick Channon-trained Hazeymm.
The Singspiel colt, who would be making his seasonal reappearance, ran twice over a mile last term, following a promising debut third at Goodwood with a length and a half victory over Papal Bull at Salisbury in September.
Tregoning said: "He's a nice horse in the making and he may take his chance. I haven't spoken with the owner yet - he also has Hazeymm in the race and I suspect he will not run both. Botteen is certainly fit enough."
The ground at Lingfield is currently good and has been watered.
There will be two giant screens at Lingfield Park on Saturday, with one dedicated to showing the FA Cup Final between Liverpool and West Ham.
In addition to the totesport.com Derby Trial, the tote is supporting the Listed totescoop6 Oaks Trial (3.10pm), worth £50,000, which has attracted 28 entries, the £60,000 totesport 0800 221221 Heritage Handicap, with 22 entries, and the Group Three £50,000 totepool Chartwell Fillies Stakes, with 12 entries including one from France and three from Ireland.
Prize money on the day is a grand total of £241,000 - Lingfield Park's richest raceday.
AT THE RACES SHORTLISTED FOR PRESTIGIOUS BROADCAST AWARD
At The Races, the UK and Ireland's most watched dedicated horseracing channel, has been named on the shortlist for the Best Specialist Channel category at the Broadcast Digital Channel Awards 2006.
The category recognises the channel that best connects with its target audience, has a significant impact in its market and shows evidence of innovation, creative programming and scheduling. It also requires evidence of strong ratings and revenues performance.
Over 1.2million different individuals (BARB) tune into the channel every month, with a record 360,000 different individuals tuning into the channel on one day.
ATR strives to provide viewers with everything they need to get the most out of racing. Interactive red button betting allows viewers to bet from the comfort of their armchair, and continues to generate approximately £2 million of turnover per week across horseracing, sports betting and gaming with double digit percentage growth forecast for 2006.
The launch of At The Races 3G means that up to 6 million subscribers on the Vodafone and 3G networks can now watch the channel on the move, giving consumers more choice in how to enjoy a combined horseracing and betting service.
ATR seeks to present horseracing in a way that appeals to expert punters and novices alike. The quality of ATR's presentation team was demonstrated when Robert Cooper was deservedly awarded Broadcaster of the Year by the Horserace Writers and Photographers Association (with fellow presenter Mike Cattermole also nominated).
The success of the channel behind the camera was highlighted as advertising and sponsorship revenues rose by 241% in 2005, and ATR delivered financial outperformance with more than £2.5 million generated for racecourse partners in 2005.
Other nominated channels in this year's Broadcast Awards include BBC3, ITV2, MTV and Paramount. In the Best Specialist Channel category, At The Races will be up against Sky Vegas and Teacher's TV.
Broadcast is the pre-eminent weekly trade publication for the UK television and radio industry.
Matthew Imi, Chief Executive of ATR, said: "To be shortlisted is a fantastic testament to the achievements and success of the Channel over the past year and I am delighted that the hard work of the team has been recognised. It is especially gratifying to receive recognition in a category that rewards a strong relationship with viewers as At The Races has carried out a number of innovations over the last year and all are done with our viewers in mind."