Betway Winter Derby Raceday Preview

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26 February 2021

11.45 Read Katie Walsh On Betway Insider Handicap 

The opening 0-75 contest is a fiercely competitive 11 runner affair and as you’d expect in this grade, there are plenty in with chances. 

No doubt, Convertible, a recent course and distance winner will be prominent in the betting under Ryan Moore, however, his latest victory saw him finish in front of a 59 rated horse and further back, plenty of horse rated in their 60’s. For me, he’d have to come out and do it at this level again, beating horses rated higher than him to be supported.

Poetic Force has run well in two starts this calendar year, including finishing third last time out in a much hotter race than this at Wolverhampton. Interestingly, on five of his nine career victories, he has carried top weight, which shows that he’s better at conceding weight to lesser than horses, than receiving weight from better horses. Elisha Whittington takes off a very valuable 5lb with her claim and this pair can give a good showing. 

Enough Already ran well at Kempton recently, staying on well towards the end of the race and if he’s in that same vein of form, he could run on into a place for trainer Lee Carter and rider Dougie Costello. 

 

12.20 Novice Stakes

The Novice’ Stakes is very much a race to watch and try to spot potential improvers. 

Glentaneous is likely to be a short-priced favourite following his promising debut second at Kempton earlier in the month. He was green that day, but the penny dropped towards the end of the race and he flew home, only to be narrowly beaten by a head. He’s the most likely winner on all known form, but a couple of the unraced horses are big unknowns and could be anything. 

12.55 Bombardier British-Hopped Amber Beer Handicap 

There is only a field of four declared for the one mile handicap, but it’s a good race, make no doubt about that. Intuitive is going to be popular amongst punters with his rating of 106 and coming off the back of a good success over course and distance in January. However, it’s going to be tough giving weight all around, especially to Grove Ferry, who is trained by Betway ambassador Andrew Balding. The four year old didn’t manage to get his head in front last season, but ran well in some competitive handicaps behind some very progressive horses. There could be some milage in his mark of 95 and this could end up being an early season prep for a handicap like the Lincoln. On his only start at Lingfield, he finished third, only beaten three quarters of a length in a decent handicap, so there are no doubts about him not acting on the course. 

Crownthorpe with the first-time visor can chase him home.

1.25 Betway Maiden Stakes

Mahale has run twice this season, finishing second on both occasions and should, all being well, be able to make it third time lucky at Lingfield Park. She was slightly outpaced over six furlongs last time and this drop back to five furlongs will suit her well. She breaks well from the stalls, so I do expect her to go forward and put her experience to good use. 

Any market support for Crimson Sand would be telling. He was gelded after his only start as a two year old which came at Newbury but the fact his trainer ran him at that course on his debut suggests he may have shown his trainer something at home in the mornings. Ryan Moore takes the ride on the three year old.

 

2.05 Betway Hever Sprint Stakes

All eyes will be on Moss Gill who sets the standard, especially on his third place finished behind Battaash in the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes at York last August. However, his best runs have come on a straight five furlong as opposed to round a bend and has never won first time out in any season. He’s always taken at least one run to get going and that could well be the same here, in a race that may be being used a prep race. It happens quick and fast at Lingfield and with confirmed front-runners such as Ornate in the field, it is going to be another furiously run affair. 

Robert Cowell has his horses in great form and his saddles Rocket Action for whom Hollie Doyle takes the ride. He’s got a good record on a synthetic surface, too. He’ll be ridden to come from just off the pace and pick the pieces up late, a trademark feat of his record-breaking Jockey. 

At a bigger price, Belle Anglaise could have been overlooked. She improved with each start as a two year old and was only narrowly beaten in the Group 3 Oh So Sharp Stakes at Newmarket, with the form of that race working out well last season. 
We didn’t see Belle Anglaise last season as she raced in Germany for a different trainer. I may be putting two and two together and getting five, however, my theory is that as she has a German owner, he may have wanted to see her run in his native country and with the ruling around Covid, that may have been the reason she wasn’t with Stuart Williams last season. She is now back with the Newmarket handler and while this is a hot race, it might give you an idea of how well she is thought of to be running in this race as her first run of the season. 

2.40 Betway Winter Derby Stakes

The feature race is the Betway Winter Derby and while there is only five runners going to post, it’s a competitive race and will no doubt be exciting to watch. 

Father Of Jazz was 14/1 for this race when the original entries went out, but an explosive success over course and distance last time out has helped his price collapse and following the 5-day entries on Monday, he has been very well supported for this race. He’s three from three since joining Roger Varian’s yard and has looked like a group performer. 

Felix was runner up in the Betway Winter Derby Trial three weeks ago and will be tough to beat if in the same kind of form under Hollie Doyle. He’s shown a liking for the all-weather and has improved 19lb in six starts since joining Marco Botti in December 2019.

Betway ambassador Andrew Balding saddles Johnny Drama who improved massively for a switch to a synthetic surface, racking up a sequence of five wins on the spin from November to December last year. He ended his busy spell with a good fifth in the Betway Quebec Stakes over course and distance and has been freshened up since then. He will no doubt be a huge player under Ryan Moore. 

 

3.10 Heed Your Hunch At Betway Handicap

West Midlands based trainer Ian Williams seems to hold all of the aces in this race over 1m4f, as he trains both Cardano and Lucky’s Dream, both of whom are previous course winners.

They’re both in good form and on are hard to split, however, on official ratings, Cardano who seeking a hat-trick is the one to beat. Promising young rider Ray Dawson has been booked for the rider and he claims 3lbs off his back, too. 

Torochia always gives her best and is a frequent runner at Lingfield. She didn’t stay over 2m last time out and will appreciate this drop back in trip too. 

 

3.43 Betway Casino Handicap

Anisoptera turned a corner at the back end of last season when she was stepped up to 2m, winning both of her starts at that trip. She’s had a mid-winter break and comes back off a 7lb higher mark but that may not be enough to stop her racking up the hat-trick of victories. 

On his first run following winder surgery, any market support for Grain Of Sense might be informative for trainer Ralph Beckett. He was an eye catcher in his two starts as a two year old, but clearly hasn’t been straight forward having been gelded and had a breathing operation and having only had four career starts to date. His connection will be hoping his best days are ahead of him. 

 

Written by Chad Yeomans - @YeomansChad

Lingfield Park

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