Tag Archive for: Winter Derby

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.

Forest Of Dean claims Winter Derby glory for Gosden and Havlin

John Gosden continued his winter big-race haul, adding the Betway Winter Derby to his Saudi Cup triumph when Forest Of Dean executed his trainer’s ‘Plan B’ to perfection under a copybook ride from Robert Havlin at Lingfield.

Gosden had told Havlin that Plan A was to make the running in the Group Three contest – but when Johnny Drama beat him to that punch the jockey reverted to the second plan, making his move coming down the hill and taking a valuable two lengths out of the field.

Felix and Father Of Jazz tried to close the gap, but ran out of real estate as Forest Of Dean (100-30) held on by three-quarters of a length and a length.

Gosden said: “He’s definitely on an upward curve and Rab rode him beautifully. When he got to the top of the hill he said ‘I’m gonna steal this’ and kept him rolling.

“He’s a brave little horse who was off for over 400 days after having problems following his run at Newbury. I think the Easter Classic over a mile and a quarter (on All-Weather Championships Finals Day) might be more his scene than the Lincoln.”

The Clarehaven trainer had news of Mishriff, who has astounded him since arriving back from Saudi.

He added: “Mishriff is in top order. He came back on Monday and had a lead out on Wednesday, but he was so fresh on Wednesday, squealing and playing, that I had to give him two canters on Warren Hill this morning.

“I’ve spoken to Prince Faisal and we’ve agreed to leave it at least 10 days before making a plan for him.”