Lingfield Winter Derby tips – Saturday’s AW feature race previewed!
Brian Healy gives his Lingfield Winter Derby tips as he assesses Saturday’s Group Three feature race on the all-weather.
One of the biggest races over the winter on the all-weather, the Lingfield Winter Derby goes to post at 3.15pm on Saturday at the Surrey venue and a field of seven runners will enter the starting stalls for the day’s feature race.
Contested over a ten furlongs trip, the Group Three contest boasts a valuable first prize of £56,000 to the winner in what is the first Group race of the year. Past winners of this notable prize include Wissahickon, Master The World, Grendisar, Tryster and Farraaj in recent seasons.
Brian Healy takes a look at all seven runners who will go to post and gives his big race verdict and Lingfield Winter Derby tips for Saturday’s feature.
LINGFIELD WINTER DERBY SELECTION
RUNNER BY RUNNER GUIDE
Generally progressive last term, scoring wins on each of his first two outings as a three-year old at Doncaster and Sandown, the latter of which came in the Bet365 Classic Trial.
Andrew Balding’s charge largely acquitted himself well in the face of some stiff tasks although he patently failed to handle the undulations at Epsom when sent for the Derby where he beat only one home.
He finished runner-up to Japan at Royal Ascot on his next outing before possibly unsuited by soft ground at York in the Group Two York Stakes. But his campaign rounded off with a much better effort back there in August when beaten only a neck by Zaaki in the Strensall Stakes.
Possibly just needing the run at Doha on his reappearance the Australia colt ran out an impressive winner of the Listed Trial here at the beginning of the month and he ought to prove tough to beat again with a repeat of that effort.
The Gosden and Dettori combination were responsible for Wissahickon’s success in this race twelve months ago, and the pair have strong claims again with Dubai Warrior who comes into the race in search of a hat-trick of wins.
The Dansili colt had shown up well in the autumn, winning at Kempton over one mile before finding only one too good at Chelmsford next time. He wasn’t at his best on turf at Longchamp, but he has bounced back to register wins at Chelmsford and over course and distance latterly.
He had almost four lengths to spare over Court House on that occasion, readily coming clear to win the Listed Quebec Stakes and he ought to offer some stiff resistance to Bangkok despite probably needing a shade more to lower the colours of the Balding runner.
The Dawn Approach gelding also hails from the John Gosden camp and he has shown useful form since winning over further here last January which includes finishing runner-up in this race twelve months ago behind stablemate Wissahickon.
Possibly amiss when next seen in the All-weather Middle Distance Championship, he has returned from an eight months’ absence to finish runner-up on both starts this term behind Dubai Warrior and Bangkok respectively.
He is capable of a bold show here, but he has a bit to find with both of those rivals on recent form and he almost certainly will need to improve a decent chunk to land this valuable prize.
Winless in France, the Sea The Stars gelding has shown improvement since joining Jane Chapple-Hyam with decent performances in defeat which includes a fair fourth in testing ground behind Morando in the Ormonde Stakes at Chester last May.
He opened his win account at Deauville in November, gaining a short-head verdict over Carlton Choice; but he has since been readily seen off by both Dubai Warrior and Bangkok, also finishing behind Court House on each occasion.
This demands significantly more and there appears no real reason why he should overturn those pieces of form here. The booking of Ben Curtis does catch the eye, but the seven-year old will need considerably more to feature here although a repeat of his Deauville success earlier would give him a squeak.
Rounded off his time with Chris Wall by winning over twelve furlongs at Kempton and the Fastnet Rock gelding followed up on that success when making a successful return from almost two years’ off the track when scoring over a mile at the same venue.
Now with David Elsworth, he followed up that success with a solid fourth at this venue in December before winning over 1m4f here just before Christmas. However, he’s been beaten in all three subsequent outings although has made the frame each time.
Those three defeats have all come at the longer trip and he could do better dropping back in distance although this is tougher than anything he has faced thus far in his career. A big jolt of improvement will be required from him if he’s to land this prize and he looks up against it at this level.
MASTER THE WORLD
David Elsworth also saddles Master The World who was a shade disappointing back from a break when finishing fifth behind Bangkok on his reappearance here at the beginning of the month.
The Mastercraftsman gelding struck his last win when beating the admirable Big Country to the punch in the 2018 Churchill Stakes over this course and distance, and he’s relatively light raced since.
He finished sixth in this race twelve months ago following three months off and his best effort since came on his next outing at Kempton behind Mootasadir where he finished third.
There is a strong suspicion the nine-year old – the elder statesman in this field – isn’t the force of old and he has plenty on his plate here.
Completing the line-up, Stuart Williams’ charge can usually be relied upon to run his race and he has finished fourth or better in each of his last eight starts on turf and the all-weather.
The Footstepsinthesand gelding hasn’t won however since winning a handicap last January over course and distance and he was outclassed behind Bangkok here at the beginning of the month when finishing fourth of the seven runners.
He did finish third in this race twelve months ago; but while he is likely to give his best again it is unlikely to be good enough to see him snap his losing streak at this higher level.
LINGFIELD WINTER DERBY TIPS + BIG-RACE VERDICT
This is likely to develop into a match between John Gosden’s Dubai Warrior and BANGKOK (8/11, Betway) with preference for Andrew Balding’s charge who won the Trial race for this earlier in the month beating Court House – who also turns out here – by more than four lengths.
Dubai Warrior also has the measure of that rival on a past run, but he returns from a break here while the Balding runner has an advantage in terms of race-fitness and that tips the scales in his favour.
Bangkok was impressive here earlier in the month and he brings the best form to the table from previous seasons so he could prove tough to beat here from level weights despite being rated 4lbs to the good over his main rival.