Ambiente Friendly beats Illinois in Derby trial win

Callum Shepherd rides Ambiente Friendly
Callum Shepherd has won 34 flat races in 2024 [PA]

Ambiente Friendly won the Derby Trial at Lingfield, beating the Aidan O'Brien-trained favourite Illinois to first place.

Illinois jockey Ryan Moore won the Derby at Epsom last year when aboard Auguste Rodin, another horse trained by O'Brien.

Nine horses who have won the Lingfield Derby Trial Stakes previously have gone on to win the Derby, which takes place on 1 June.

"That was just exceptional," Ambiente Friendly jockey Callum Shepherd told ITV.

"It was a great ride. He has come on so much since Newmarket. He is a much more relaxed horse.

"I couldn't speak highly enough of him. That was excellent."

Illinois (6-4) had led the majority of the race but 8-1 shot Ambiente Friendly raced clear in the home straight to win by four-and-a-half-lengths.

Meydaan (14-1), ridden by Harry Davies, came in third.

The James Fanshawe-trained winner's odds have since already been cut from 100-1 to 12-1 by bookmaker Coral for Epsom.

Shepherd added: "It felt to me like a proper trial. There was a nice even gallop and we got racing on the turn in, but I can’t believe how he split the field so comfortably.”

Elsewhere at Lingfield, You Got To Me (7-2) won the Oaks Trial Fillies' Stakes by half-a-length.

The horse had a clear lead but Moore, this time riding Rubies Are Red (10-3), closed the gap to claim second. Favourite Danielle (2-1) finished third.

You Got To Me's jockey Hector Crouch said: "It wasn't deliberate to go quite that quick, she's a horse that likes to get on with things and if you get in an argument with her she's 10 times worse. You have to let her be her and it worked out nicely.

"I was out of control until the first bend, then she had a look at the hill and backed off for me. She did everything very nicely from the six to the three [furlong marker], then she was very game in the finish."