Granduer In Great Form For Winter Derby
With the sun beating down and the flowers in bloom, all-weather fans will have one last chance of waving goodbye to the winter in style by backing the winner of Saturday’s valuable Winter Derby at Lingfield (3.05).
4/1 The Field
This year’s renewal has a very open look to it, with Grendisar and Grandeur currently heading the market at 4/1.
Grendisar has proven popular for this since recording a classy double over C&D this winter, including a short head defeat of Lamar (14/1) last month. Although the winning margin was short, that didn’t tell the story as Marco Botti’s 5yo idled in front having quickened earlier in the straight.
Grendisar has all the attributes for Saturday barring his age, as 5yo’s have really struggled in this race…
Of the last 10 Winter Derby winners…
10 were officially rated 103 or higher
10 made the top three during their last three runs
9 were 4 or 6yo’s – 5yo’s were 0-45
9 came from the first five in the betting
9 made the top four last time
8 ran in a Group 3 or Listed race last time
Quite why 5yo’s have performed so badly in this race is hard to fathom, but may count against the likes of William Haggas’, Battalion (7/1), who was last seen beating Educate (16/1) over 1l in a Listed C&D event in November.
Another Win For Grandeur?
One with no such age issues is Jeremy Noseda’s 6yo, Grandeur, who is 2-4 on this surface, including a Listed race over C&D a year ago, which came directly before finishing eighth in this race when backed into 7/4 favoritism.
Grandeur was reported to have run very flat that day, while the outside draw in stall 14 wasn’t ideal. Ryan Moore was aboard that day, and also in his prep race when just over 1l behind Grendisar here last month.
He was short of room in the straight when making his challenge, but Moore never had that problem when the pair took the £124k Easter Classic over C&D last April.
It’s also worth noting each of the last 10 winners were officially rated 103 or higher, suggesting Charlie Appleby’s, Tryster (6/1) needs to improve from a rating of 93. This progressive 4yo has rattled up a hat-trick this year, including a decent handicap at Kempton 10 days ago (1m2f).
Similar comments apply to fellow 4yo improver, Lamar, who is rated 95 having won two decent events, before getting to within a short head of Grendisar here last time.
Elsewhere, John Gosden’s 4yo, Cloudscape (8/1), has to be considered having also been involved in the aforementioned Listed race here when 1l behind Grendisar. Considering that was this was the 107-rated colt’s first outing since July, he can be expected to improve with Frankie Dettori in the saddle.
Another improving 4yo, Complicit (10/1), was nominated for this race when beating Tenor (16/1) 3l in a decent event over C&D when last seen in December. Paul Cole’s colt is 5-6 on the all-weather and has to rate excellent each-way value.
Cat To Pounce?
Don’t write off Roger Charlton’s 6yo, Captain Cat (10/1), though, who was only a head behind last year’s subsequent Winter Derby winner, Robin Hoods Bay, in a C&D handicap 14 months ago. Having rumbled in Group 1 and 2’s since last summer, this will be a drop in class – for the record, his is 2-2 in Group 3’s.
A cracking renewal, featuring a host of progressive 4yo’s open to more improvement, but the vote goes to Grandeur, who won the valuable Classic over C&D last April, and shaped last time behind Grendisar that he retains his form.