Alenquer to kick off 2022 campaign in Winter Derby

Alenquer will bid to provide William Haggas with a first victory in the Betway Winter Derby at Lingfield next month.

Winner of King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot last season, the Adlerflug colt went on to finish third in the Grand Prix de Paris and runner-up in the Juddmonte International later in the summer.

Having rounded off his three-year-old campaign with ninth place in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, Haggas is planning to give him his all-weather debut at Lingfield on February 26.

“We’re aiming Alenquer at the Winter Derby,” the Newmarket handler confirmed.

“He’s a nice horse. He ran in the Arc, which he probably shouldn’t have done, but he still ran a good race and he’s a pretty useful horse.

“He won’t run before the Winter Derby. He’ll run in the Winter Derby and will hopefully go on to run in Dubai in the Sheema Classic.”

Haggas has also entered Group Three winner My Oberon and German recruit Grocer Jack for Lingfield’s feature event, but they are both being prepared for a trip to the Middle East.

“The other two are intended to go to Saudi Arabia and we entered them for Lingfield just in case they didn’t get in,” Haggas added.

“Both horses are in the Saudi Cup and Grocer Jack is also in the mile-and-a-quarter race – the Neom Turf Cup.”

Lord North could return in the Winter Derby
Lord North could return in the Winter Derby (Megan Ridgwell/PA)

The Haggas-trained trio are among 24 entries for the Winter Derby, with John and Thady Gosden also responsible for three contenders as the Clarehaven team chases a fourth successive win in the race.

The highest-rated horse is Lord North, who has not been seen in competitive action since winning the Dubai Turf on World Cup night at Meydan last March.

The Gosdens also have last year’s winner Forest Of Dean and Harrovian in the mix, while other hopefuls include Sir Michael Stoute’s Regal Reality, the Marco Botti-trained Felix, Fox Tal from Andrew Balding’s yard and Archie Watson’s recent Newcastle scorer Al Zaraqaan.

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