Lingfield officials are very proud of their achievement in finally completing the double of providing the winners of both the Derby and the Oaks from their Classic trials for the first time.
Anapurna and Anthony Van Dyck followed up victories in their respective prep races for Epsom last month by proving themselves on the biggest of stages for three-year-olds.
Lingfield has a strong affinity to its fellow Surrey track – and the results provided a timely reminder of the part the course plays in the education and preparation of Classic contenders.
Anapurna was the first Lingfield Oaks Trial winner to follow up since Ramruma in 1999, while Anthony Van Dyck bridged a 21-year gap in the Derby after High-Rise did the double for the colts.
“It’s the first time it’s happened in the same year,” said clerk of the course, George Hill.
“It’s well received and well needed. It’s brilliant. We’ve been well supported this year with some nice horses.
“It’s good for the track and puts the Lingfield trials back on the map to be taken seriously.
“All we can do is get the track prepared the best we can for the trials; if the horses turn up we’ve got the support, and hopefully we’ll get more support and go forward.”
He added: “It’s 20 years for the Oaks and 21 years since the Derby, so the stats weren’t in our favour in recent times.
“We have been we’ll supported with some big turn-outs in the last couple of years. Kew Gardens (subsequent St Leger hero) finished runner-up in the Derby Trial last year – and the winner, Knight To Behold, went on to land a Group Two.
“Best Solution won the Caulfield Cup, and he was successful here two years ago.
“We may not have had Derby winners, but they have gone on to win Group Ones or Group Twos elsewhere.
“It will help us go forward, and having the double definitely puts us back on the map.
“The configuration of the track is very similar, and probably the most similar of the other trials, to Epsom – and that is massively in our favour.
“All we can do is get the track in the best possible shape. It’s great if we can get the top trainers like Aidan O’Brien and John Gosden supporting our races.”
The Lingfield races were sponsored for the first time this year by RaceBets.
Spokesman Joseph Burke said: “We were delighted to work with Lingfield to sponsor the Derby and Oaks trials for the first time this year.
“Deborah Hay was especially helpful in organising everything for us, and we are delighted for her and the whole Lingfield team that both winners went on to win at Epsom. They work hard and really deserve it.
“Obviously it was the icing on the cake for RaceBets as sponsors as well.”