One has to go back to 1998 and the victory of the Luca Cumani-trained High Rise to find the last winner of the Lingfield Derby Trial to go on to victory at Epsom but connections of Snow Sky, impressive two length winner of the 2014 renewal will be hoping to emulate that horse in a month’s time for which the son of Neyef is a top price 25-1 with several bookmakers including Paddy Power and Stan James.
The Sir Michael Stoute-trained colt looked a decent middle-distance prospect when winning a Salisbury maiden by ten lengths last October but, upped in class for the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy on his next start, appeared to have his limitations exposed when a well beaten eighth behind Kingston Hill on Town Moor. Making his seasonal reappearance at Newbury last month in the Dubai Duty Free Golf World Cup EBF Stallions Conditions Stakes Snow Sky was easily put in his place by another leading Derby contender in Western Hymn, going down by two and a quarter lengths to the easy winner, but it is more than possible that Khalid Abdullah’s colt has improved dramatically with that run under his belt.
Third on that occasion, just a short head behind Snow Sky, was Double Bluff who finished a good ten lengths adrift of that rival in the Lingfield trial, which suggests that the mount of Jim Crowley is heading in the right direction and deserves to take his chance in the big one on Epsom Downs. While not commiting himself regarding future plans for the horse, his trainer said: ” I was very pleased with that. He was very professional. He’s a nice progressive horse with a lovely temperament who stays well and has a bit of a kick. We’ll have to speak with (owner Khalid Abdullah) as he’s in a few things, including the Derby and the King Edward, and I wouldn’t want to commit until we’ve spoken to the man who pays the bills.”
If allowed to take his chance on the first Saturday in June Snow Sky looks to have the ability to make his mark but whatever the outcome we may see the horse back at Doncaster in September for the final Classic of the season, the St Leger.