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Derby favourite High Definition set to miss intended return at Lingfield

Cazoo Derby favourite High Definition will not be declared to run at Lingfield on Saturday, trainer Aidan O'Brien has revealed.

O'Brien said: "High Definition will not be declared in the morning for Lingfield on Saturday. Unfortunately, his bloods just weren't 100 per cent, so he won't be running."

Lingfield’s Derby Trial was the launchpad for Anthony Van Dyck’s Epsom triumph in 2019 and O’Brien had indicated on Monday that this weekend’s race was set to feature the eagerly anticipated return of High Definition, as short as 5-2 for next month’s Classic on June 5.

However, the unbeaten son of Galileo, last seen storming home from off the pace at the Curragh in September to win the Beresford Stakes, will not be making the same trip to the Surrey course.

The Beresford was just his second start and it was the second time he had come home powerfully to win, defying in-running highs of 99-1 on both occasions.

O'Brien has never made any secret of the regard in which he holds the 115-rated performer and on Monday had said: “He's a big horse and we just need to give him a run. He was always very natural and he's got an unusually long stride.

“We were always only ever going to give him one run before the Derby."

While High Definition's route to the Derby is now unknown, O'Brien has plenty of other contenders prominent in the ante-post betting for the race he has won on a record eight occasions, including in three of the last four years with Wings Of Eagles (2017), Anthony Van Dyck (2019) and Serpentine (2020).

Bolshoi Ballet – the general 8-1 Derby second favourite after winning the Ballysax Stakes last month – is expected to head to Leopardstown on Sunday for the Group 3 Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial.

Van Gogh, eighth in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket last Saturday, and Chester absentee Sir Lamorak are others trained by O'Brien priced shorter than 20-1 in the ante-post betting.

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