Lingfield Winter Derby Day Preview
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Lingfield Winter Derby Day Preview

It's not all jumps racing at this point in the year and Lingfield Park stages an excellent card on the Polytrack this Saturday afternoon, headlined by the Group 3 Betway Winter Derby at 2.05pm, where John Gosden bids to continue his recent domination. It's an eight-race card at Lingfield on Saturday, racing from 1.00pm-4.55pm, and the Racing Post has got analysis and selections for all the action.



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1.00 - Read Katie Walsh On Betway Insider Handicap (1m7½f)

Aljaryaal can consider himself a touch unfortunate to have missed out over 1m5f at this venue last time, getting to the front on the home bend only to be collared by Moel Arthur, the pair more than seven-lengths clear of everything else.

There was only a short-head in it and, to his credit, Aljaryaal was battling back at the line but it always looked as though he'd get the silver medal inside the final furlong.

He goes up in trip/class now and might find that PHOENIX AQUILUS has too much staying power for him. Seamus Durack's 5YO was unfortunate himself not to win over hurdles (second in two of three runs) but seemingly has found a niche in this sphere after winning at Wolverhampton (2m½f) and Southwell (1m6f) in December and January.

The form of both those races has worked out nicely, Southwell second Prince Abu winning his next two, and Shane Kelly appeared to have lots of horse left under him when merely pushing the button to go and win last time. He's 6lb higher now but this slightly longer trip can only be a positive.

Selection: Phoenix Aquilus

Next Best: Aljaryaal


1.30 - Betway Hever Sprint Stakes (Listed, 5f)

A wide-open Listed contest over the minimum trip. Strong Power has won three on the trot for Alice Haynes and Kieran O'Neill over C&D and shouldn't be overlooked in current mood despite the rise in class now.

Last year's winner Lord Riddiford is a better performer on the all-weather seemingly and shaped well back from a layoff at Wolverhampton this month, finishing third off a mark of 103. He's shortlisted.

Tone The Barone was odds-on to defeat Strong Power over track and trip last month but could only finish third, Stuart Williams' charge wasn't beaten far and has more than a stone difference in his favour now.

EXALTED ANGEL didn't quite get the breaks when needed over 6f in a Listed race here three weeks ago. Karl Burke's gelding has won in this grade before and should go close if getting a clear passage.

Selection: Exalted Angel

Next Best: Tone The Barone

2.05 - Betway Winter Derby Stakes (Group 3, 1m2f)

An absence of 336 days is of some concern, but John & Thady Gosden are likely to have LORD NORTH ready for this assignment. He was a wide-margin winner at Newcastle as a novice on his only previous AW start and should have few issues with this surface.

A Group 1 turf winner in 2020 at Royal Ascot and last March out at Meydan, he's the class act in this field and will take some halting for a trainer seeking to win this race for the fourth year running.

Forest Of Dean won last year but this looks a far stronger renewal on paper and he surely will do well to replicate that effort.

Fancy Man had 2¼-lengths in hand over runner-up King Of The South in a Listed Trial for this race at the start of the month. Richard Hannon's 4YO is now 2-2 on the all-weather and won't lack for stamina.

Alenquer was a Group 2 Royal Ascot winner last summer over 1m4f on heavy ground and ended the season with a fair effort in the Arc at Longchamp. In between, he was second to Mishriff in York's Juddmonte International (1m2½f, good) albeit beaten some six-lengths by the impressive winner.

Given that he has the best form in the book, seems well suited to this trip, has won at higher level and is proven to go well fresh; there's just too much in Lord North's favour to go against him.

Selection: Lord North

Next Best: Fancy Man


2.40 - Mansionbet Proud Partners Of The AWC Handicap (1m)

Oh This Is Us remains a stellar servant to connections and he won at Listed/Group 3 level during 2021. He was well-held on his comeback at Kempton and requires a major weight-carrying effort now.

Imperial Sands won from the front over C&D last month, perhaps allowed to dictate an easy pace, and might not get that luxury now for Hollie Doyle and Archie Watson. He is, though, likeable and should give a good account.

To The Bar is one to note in the betting back from a layoff for Richard Hughes and Shane Kelly as he has more to come this year but HAFEET ALAIN and Shoot To Kill arrive in form.

The latter won his first three after joining this trainer and was only beaten a length here over 7f last weekend, but Ed Walker's charge gets the nod in a trappy race. He's unfortunate not to have won this winter on the all-weather for this trainer and his latest Wolverhampton third was a fair effort in a race that didn't pan out great for him.

Selection: Hafeet Alain

Next Best: Shoot To Kill

3.10 - Betway Handicap (6f)

Another fiercely competitive race, with all six holding claims. Soldier's Minute is the class act but gives away weight accordingly. He wasn't beaten far over C&D this month in Listed company and should give a solid account.

Marks Bear is a C&D winner too and has been banging on the door of late, while Crimson Sand and Fizzy Feet have reasons to be optimistic.

If You Dare made all at Southwell last month dropped back to this 6f trip and is a player again from 3lb higher but ASADJUMEIRAH gets the nod.

The Adaay colt has only had four starts since joining Anthony Brittain and he's bagged successive wins at Newcastle over this trip in the last month (dead-heated initially), with the form of both races looks solid. He's up another 5lb and in a better race now, but this 4YO is not done improving.

Selection: Asadjumeirah

Next Best: Marks Bear


3.45 - Betway Maiden Stakes (5f)

Both My Joker and Accelerando are rated 65 and they set the standard, though it's hardly an exacting one and, between them, they've had 15 cracks at winning a race already.

Chief White Face cost 45,000 gns and is a gelded son of Showcasing that could have a say on first start, with Hollie Doyle booked to ride for Richard Hughes but, presumably, Shane Kelly prefers stablemate CRASH AND RUN.

He's shaped with promise in small-field contests at this venue (6f) and Chelmsford (5f) during January, second last time to a rival that has since gone close off a mark of 82 in a Class 4 Kempton handicap, and he might just find this is an ideal opportunity to open his account.

Selection: Crash And Run

Next Best: Accelerando

4.20 - Play Coral Racing-Super-Series For Free Novice Stakes (1m)

Ludus shaped better than odds of 25/1 implied on debut at Kempton last month and is open to improvement, while similar sentiments apply to Combat Style after his first outing at the same track 17 days ago.

Borgi was a debut winner at Southwell recently over 7f but will have to improve to double-up here with a 5lb penalty and a wide draw against him.

KING OF TIME is a nicely-bred son of Kingman and cost 475,000 gns as a yearling. There are winners in his family and Charlie Appleby's already-gelded 3YO has possibly been found a good starting point.

Selection: King Of Time

Next Best: Ludus


4.55 - BetYourWay At Betway Handicap (1m2f)

Forge Valley Lad, Sea Of Charm and Charlie Arthur all arrive in decent form and hold claims. Of that trio, it's the filly Sea Of Charm that appeals most.

She has been very consistent this winter, counting a C&D win in November amongst her efforts, and was only just touched off over track and trip in January. She is, however, a victim of that consistency and is now rated 3lb higher again.

If there's an improver lurking then maybe it is BLUENOSE BELLE for Marco Botti, with Hollie Doyle an eye-catching booking.

This daughter of Noble Mission won nicely in a Newcastle maiden last April and while defeated in a novice at Chelmsford in October in her only start since, the opposition she met there was significantly better than compared with today's rivals. As such, an opening handicap mark of 76 might be lenient.

Selection: Bluenose Bell

Next Best: Sea Of Charm


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