English King's odds tumble for Derby after emphatic victory

English King’s odds tumble for Derby after the Ed Walker-trained colt claims emphatic trial victory at Lingfield

  • English King shot into the Epsom picture after showing an exciting turn of foot
  • ED Walker’s charge is joint-favourite at 6-1 for the Investec Derby on July 4
  • He put his rivals to the sword in some style under Tom Marquand on Friday 

English King, 66-1 for the Investec Derby on Friday morning, finished the day 6-1 joint favourite for the biggest Flat race of the season next month after cruising to victory in the Lingfield Derby trial.

Betting industry insiders were struggling to recall such a dramatic change in ante-post odds after the Ed Walker-trained colt easily beat fellow 9-4 joint favourite Berkshire Rocco two and three-quarter lengths under jockey Tom Marquand.

Summeronsevenhills was seven lengths back in third.

English King was promoted to joint favourite for the Derby after his impressive win on Friday

After initially being cut to 16-1, Coral progressively took further evasive action as English King eventually joined Saturday’s 2,000 Guineas favourite Pinatubo at the head of the Derby betting.

Last year’s Lingfield trial winner Anthony Van Dyck was the first to go on to win the Derby since High-Rise in 1998.

Walker said: ‘It has been a fact-finding mission today.

‘The exciting thing is he has a high cruising speed, a turn of foot and he stays.

English King joined 2,000 Guineas favourite Pinatubo at the head of the Derby betting

‘Those three together are the three qualities you need in a very good horse.’

Prior to Friday’s run, English King had only run twice, finishing seventh on his debut at Newmarket and then winning at Newcastle in November.

The market move seemed an overreaction but the rejigged season means there will not be as many trials before the Derby on July 4.

English King runs in the colours of owner Bjorn Nielsen, whose Stradivarius — aiming to win a third Ascot Gold Cup later this month — finished a respectable third to the impressive Ghaiyyath on his return to action in the Coronation Cup at Newmarket. 

Trainer Charlie Appleby said Ghaiyyath has become ‘the finished article’ after he pummelled his opponents into submission. Next for Ghaiyyath could be the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 17 or the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown on July 5.

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