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‘Relentless’ Ambiente Friendly puts down Derby marker in Lingfield victory

Aidan O’Brien’s Illinois was the 6-4 favourite and Ryan Moore had him at the head of affairs turning for home, with a wall of horses spread across the track in behind.

Despite hanging, the Irish raider saw off several challengers but he had no answer to Ambiente Friendly’s sparkling turn of foot down the wide outside.

Callum Shepherd could afford to take it easy on the James Fanshawe-trained son of Gleneagles throughout the final furlong, but he still crossed the line four and a half lengths clear for an 8-1 triumph.

Coral slashed the odds of him following up at Epsom from 100-1 to 12-1, while Betfair and Paddy Power shortened the winner even further to 10-1 and then 8-1.

Shepherd was thrilled with the Gredley family-owned colt, saying: “I was so impressed with that, I can’t put it into words.

“He used to be very keen and could get lit up, but with the ring bit he was so more manageable.

“When he went for home, he was relentless. What a wonderful dress rehearsal for Epsom.”

Fanshawe’s son and assistant, Tom, added: “He’s hopefully an exciting horse. We don’t get many horses that head for the Derby, but thanks to Mr (Bill) Gredley it looks as if we do now.

“He’s always been a nice mover and everything he does is effortless. We know Charlie Appleby and Aidan will have contenders, but we feel we have every right to be there.”

Regarding the O’Brien runners, Kevin Buckley, UK representative for Coolmore, said: “Illinois will improve a lot for this experience as he’s a full-bother to Venice Beach, but I like the way Declan’s (McDonogh) horse (The Euphrates, fourth) stayed on after being well back at the top of the hill.”

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