United Nations adds his name to Aidan O'Brien's Derby squad

Sat 7 May 2022

Aidan O’Brien’s extraordinary domination of the Derby trials continued apace when United Nations foiled Walk Of Stars in the SBK Derby Trial at Lingfield.

A race that threw up the 2021 Epsom hero Adayar 12 months ago saw Ryan Moore at his tactical best as he got the better by three-quarters of a length of a protracted duel down the middle of the course with the Godolphin-owned favourite.

The outcome was decided when Moore squeezed his mount for extra inside the quarter pole, and try as he might William Buick could not get to the 9-4 winner, who was fourth in the Blue Riband Trial at Epsom on his reappearance.

Godolphin’s other runner Natural World tried to skip away from the front running down the hill, but after tracking a route on the far rail he was a spent force approaching the distance.

Both Coolmore spokesmen Kevin Buckley and Paul Smith were delighted not only with United Nation’s performance, but also the quantity of the Ballydoyle challenge on the premier Classic a month from now.

Buckley said: “United Nations has been round Epsom and has clearly come out of his race there well. He ticks the boxes, and Aidan hoped he would put his experience (of a switchback course) into practice today.

“We thought he’d improve with the extra step up in distance. It was a steep learning curve at Epsom and we were happy with that performance, and now he as done that here. It (deciding Epsom runners) is a nice problem to have!”

Smith referred to the “learning curve” all the O’Brien colts were experiencing, and observed: “It’s a great learning curve going from trial to championship and we’ve been delighted with the way the respective horses have run at Chester and now Lingfield. We hope it will continue at York.”

Betfair slashed United Nations to 10-1 for the premier Classic, and Smith added: “There’s three weeks before any firm decisions need to be taken. But this colt will hopefully step up.”

Rogue Millennium sparks Classic dreams for Tom Clover

Trainer Tom Clover is starting to discover what dreams are made of following the rapid-fire progress of his Dubawi filly Rogue Millennium from a Wetherby maiden to the SBK Oaks Trial in the space of just two weeks.

Newmarket-based Clover had no hesitation in stating his intention to supplement his 15-2 Lingfield winner into the Oaks itself after she had gamely resisted the renewed challenge of long-time leader Mystic Wells under Jack Mitchell by a head.

His statement that at this time of year with a fast-improving distaffer the sky can quickly become the limit holds water, and especially so to the 200-plus members of The Rogues Gallery syndicate that own the winner.

Clover explained: “They are great sporting people who absolutely adore it. Whether it’s an owners’ event or a day trip to watch the horses, their enthusiasm is boundless.”

Detailing the claims of his winner, Clover, whose first runner in a Classic she will be, went on: “She’s by the right sire and we decided before coming here that if she won she would be added to the Oaks field.

“She’s still green, and has improved with each piece of work. I actually feel a little guilty about asking her to go to Epsom, but we have to go. She’s just flourished and I hope she can continue to progress.”

Mitchell alluded to the inexperience of his mount when summarising her run to the owners, a large potion of whom were on hand to watch her unsaddle.

The jockey said: “She was rolling about a bit coming down the hill, but once she levelled out she was strong right the way to the line.”

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