04/23/2010 12:00AM

Chabal takes charge at Sandown


Godolphin and Saeed bin Suroor had their first winner of the British season at Sandown Park on Friday as Chabal landed the Group 3, $100,000 Sandown Classic Trial. Frankie Dettori rode the Galileo colt from last of six to lead at the three-sixteenths pole for a comfortable 2 1/4-length victory in the fist serious prep for the Epsom Derby.

Sent off as the 7-4 favorite in the absence of Group 3 winner Circumvent, who was scratched in favor of a French Derby prep at Longchamp on Sunday, Chabal was making his seasonal debut off a disappointing 10th-place finish behind Beethoven in Newmarket's Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes. Previously second in the Group 1 National Stakes at the Curragh, he will have his final preparation for the June 5 Derby in the Group 2 Dante Stakes at York on May 13.

The Classic Trial runner-up, Azmeel - winner of a seven-furlong listed race at Newbury in August - was also improving, off a 12th-place finish behind Shakespearean in the one-mile Goffs Million last fall, but Waseet, second in the Group 2 Royal Lodge Stakes in September, weakened to finish last, beaten 28 1/2 lengths as the 2-1 second choice. The winning time for the 1 1/4 miles on good ground was 2:10.94, more than eight seconds off the track record, but just .44 of a second off the median time.