Aidan O'Brien hoping Kew Gardens can blossom at Lingfield
Last Updated: 11/05/18 11:18am
Kew Gardens bids to provide Aidan O'Brien with a fifth victory in the Betfred Derby Trial at Lingfield on Saturday.
The Ballydoyle handler has claimed this Listed prize four times in the last decade and Kew Gardens is a hot favourite to add to his tally.
The Galileo colt ran well in Group races won by esteemed stable companions Saxon Warrior and Nelson last season and is expected to strip fitter for his comeback third in the Feilden Stakes at Newmarket last month.
"He ran at Newmarket early on and is in good shape," said O'Brien.
"Because the ground has been so bad in Ireland, our horses are improving massively for their first runs. When they ran first time they were just ready to start.
"You then hope they can step forward, it's great to get runs into them."
O'Brien already has a formidable hand in next month's Investec Derby, with 2000 Guineas hero Saxon Warrior heading the ante-post market in front of stablemates Nelson and The Pentagon, both of whom run in the Sunday's Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown.
He added: "Everybody is learning about them at the same time we are.
"We'll show our hand to everybody after this race, the Derrinstown and York next week (Dante Stakes) and the lads will then decide what they want to run at Epsom.
"We're just trying to expose them at the moment and see what's there."
Corelli is an interesting contender for the formidable combination of trainer John Gosden and jockey Frankie Dettori.
The American-bred colt has won two of his three starts to date, but faces a big step up in class following a dominant Yarmouth success less than a fortnight ago.
James Wigan, racing manager for owner-breeder George Strawbridge, said: "He's a lovely big, strong horse who hasn't done anything wrong so far.
"It's a big step up in class for him and it will be interesting to see how he gets on.
"I don't think the quicker ground should inconvenience him."
The Harry Dunlop-trained Knight To Behold makes his first appearance since winning at Newmarket last October.
"We've been very happy with his work at home and it will be interesting to see how much he's progressed from two to three," said Dunlop.
"It looks a tough race with some maiden winners and other interesting horses in there and we should learn a lot.
"He won on fast ground at Newmarket so I don't think that will bother him too much.
"They always produce lovely ground for this meeting and I'm sure they will again."
Wax And Wane won twice on heavy ground last autumn for Karl Burke.
"He is a lovely horse who has progressed really well physically over the winter. We want to get a run into him and this race fits nicely in the calendar," said the Spigot Lodge handler.
"He did well to win twice as a two-year-old as he was very backward, so we were really pleased with his progression last year.
"He isn't a real work horse at home as he is very lazy, but he is very well in himself.
"He is entered in the Derby and we will know more about where we stand with him after Saturday."