Dordogne wins Derby trial as Johnston clinches one-two

Dordogne and HUrricane Higgins
Dordogne held off the challenge of stablemate Hurricane Higgins

Dordogne survived a strong challenge from stablemate Hurricane Higgins to win the Derby trial at Lingfield, handing Mark Johnston a one-two.

The 10-1 winner, ridden by Neil Callan, seized the initiative early on but felt the pinch two furlongs out.

Hurricane Higgins emerged to challenge but he hung left through the final three furlongs and went down by half a length at the line.

The stewards held an inquiry but did not alter the placings.

Measuring Time, the 5-4 favourite, finished back in third.

The winner was allowed to set the pace under Neil Callan before quickening clear of the field from the home turn.

Hurricane Higgins travelled strongly on the outside and emerged as the biggest threat but Joe Fanning's ride drifted over to the rail.

Fanning managed to pull him out to have one more crack at the eventual winner but he was still half-a-length down at the line.

Neither of the principals hold the Derby engagement and Johnston is keen to point Hurricane Higgins at the King Edward VII Stakes.

"It's a shame in a way to see them finish first and second because the second was so green," said trainer Johnstone.

"Joe Fanning said he would have won if he'd been able to keep the horse straight."

Meanwhile, Grandouet romped to victory in the Grade One AES Champion four-year-old Hurdle on the the final day of the Punchestown Festival.

Trained by Nicky Henderson and trained by Barry Geraghty's, Grandouet was always close to the pace set by fellow British raiders Pullyourfingerout and Kumbeshwar and moved to their outside travelling strongly on the home turn.

"He deserved that for his consistency, honesty and above all his jumping," Henderson said.

"We always thought that Aintree was more his track than Cheltenham but he was brought down there.

"It can be tough for a four-year-old to run in three festivals but he always looked like he would win today.

"We have all summer to think of plans but Barry suggests going chasing. There's a thing called Hurricane Fly to worry about if we stay hurdling."

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