Last year’s winner Convey is among 31 confirmations for the £100,000 G3 Betway Winter Derby over 10 furlongs at Lingfield Park on Saturday, February 24, details of which are revealed today.
The Betway Winter Derby is a Fast-Track Qualifier for the £200,000 Betway Easter Classic over the course and distance on £1-million All-Weather Championships Finals Day, Good Friday, March 30.
Convey (Sir Michael Stoute) emulated Grendisar by winning both races in 2017, after which he was crowned All-Weather Horse of the Year. He has not raced since finishing ninth in the G1 Champions Mile in Hong Kong in May
Convey is the 5/1 joint-favourite with Betway alongside US G1 scorer Deauville who is one of six contenders for Ireland’s champion trainer Aidan O’Brien.
In the UK, O’Brien has a 100 per cent record on the All-Weather. His only previous runner, Castle Gandolfo, was successful in the International Trial Stakes at Lingfield Park on April 6, 2002.
O’Brien’s entries also feature last year’s G2 Hardwicke Stakes victor Idaho (8/1), G1 Breeders’ Cup Mile runner-up Lancaster Bomber (8/1) and War Decree (11/2), who proved himself on Polytrack with a smooth success in the G3 Diamond Stakes at Dundalk, Ireland, in September. Prolific Dundalk winner Clear Skies (10/1) and War Secretary (16/1) are also entered.
Convey’s stablemate Autocratic (6/1) has limited All-Weather experience but proved himself at this level on turf when annexing the G3 Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown Park in May.
Utmost (John Gosden, 11/2) laid down a marker with a game victory from the front in the Listed Betway Winter Derby Trial over the course and distance on February 3, when Victory Bond (William Haggas, 7/1) and Battle Of Marathon (John Ryan, 33/1) filled the places.
Khalidi (7/1) is on course to make his debut for Lambourn trainer Clive Cox in the Betway Winter Derby. The son of High Chaparral captured two Listed prizes in the first half of last season before finishing second in both the G2 King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot and G3 Gordon Stakes at Goodwood, when trained by John Gosden.
Khalidi was declared for the G2 Great Voltigeur Stakes at York in late August but was taken out by Cox on account of the ground.
The four-year-old has not previously run on an All-Weather surface.
The trainer said: “I have been very pleased with Khalidi. He has done well over the winter and is training well at the moment.
“He had a quiet second half of last season because of the amount of soft ground we encountered and it was in our minds that, all being well through the winter, the Winter Derby could be a nice starting point this year.
“He had a very productive campaign in the first half of last season and clearly will be in his comfort zone over between a mile and a quarter and a mile and a half.
“I am very much looking forward to getting going with him.”
Master The World (David Elsworth, 8/1) and Petite Jack (Archie Watson, 14/1), both Listed winners over the course and distance this winter, also go forward for the Betway Winter Derby.
Other names to note include lightly-raced four-year-old Star Archer (Hugo Palmer, 25/1), winner of a novice race at Wolverhampton last month, G3 scorer Frankuus (Mark Johnston, 10/1) and high-class mare Elbereth (Andrew Balding, 18/1).
Betway Winter Derby – Betway prices:
5/1 Convey, Deauville
11/2 Utmost, War Decree
7/1 Khalidi, Victory Bond
8/1 Idaho, Lancaster Bomber, Master The World
10/1 Clear Skies, Frankuus
12/1 Born To Be Alive
14/1 Petite Jack
16/1 War Secretary
18/1 Elbereth, Mr Owen
20/1 Goring, Intern, Mount Tahan, Red Label
25/1 Calling Out, Star Archer
33/1 Battalion, Battle Of Marathon, Gabrial
50/1 Abe Lincoln, Contrast, London Protocol, Mia Tesoro
100/1 Man of Harlech
The Betway Winter Derby
G3, £100,000 total prize fund. Lingfield Park, Saturday, February 24, 1m 2f. For four-year-olds and upwards. Weights: colts and geldings 9st, fillies 8st 11lb. Penalties: after August 31, 2017, a winner of a G3 race 3lb, a winner of a G2 race 5lb, a winner of a G1 race 7lb. Entries closed January 23, entries revealed January 24 (36 entries), scratchings deadline February 6 (31 remain), five-day confirmations February 19, final declarations February 22. Maximum field 14 runners.
|ABE LINCOLN (USA)||5||Susan Roy||Jeremy Noseda|
|AUTOCRATIC||5||Cheveley Park Stud||Sir Michael Stoute|
|BATTALION (IRE)||8||Melbourne 10 Racing||Jamie Osborne|
|BATTLE OF MARATHON (USA)||6||G Smith-Bernal||John Ryan|
|BORN TO BE ALIVE (IRE)||4||Tim Dykes & Elaine Burke||Karl Burke|
|CALLING OUT (FR)||7||Tick Tock Partnership||David Simcock|
|CLEAR SKIES||5||J P McManus||Aidan O’Brien IRE|
|CONTRAST (IRE)||4||Highclere T’Bred Racing – Thomas Hardy||Richard Hannon|
|CONVEY||6||Robert Ng||Sir Michael Stoute|
|DEAUVILLE (IRE)||5||Fitri Hay/Michael Tabor/Sue Magnier/Derrick Smith||Aidan O’Brien IRE|
|ELBERETH||7||David Taylor||Andrew Balding|
|FRANKUUS (IRE)||4||Hussain Lootah & Ahmad Al Shaikh||Mark Johnston|
|GABRIAL (IRE)||9||Dr Marwan Koukash||Richard Fahey|
|GORING (GER)||6||G C Stevens||Eve Johnson Houghton|
|IDAHO (IRE)||5||Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith & Sue Magnier||Aidan O’Brien IRE|
|INTERN (IRE)||4||Orbis Bloodstock (UK) Limited||David Simcock|
|KHALIDI||4||Nizar Anwar||Clive Cox|
|LANCASTER BOMBER (USA)||4||Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith & Sue Magnier||Aidan O’Brien IRE|
|LONDON PROTOCOL (FR)||5||Ontoawinner, R McKeown & E Burke||Karl Burke|
|MAN OF HARLECH||7||Elite Racing Club||Jim Boyle|
|MASTER THE WORLD (IRE)||7||K Quinn/ C Benham||David Elsworth|
|MIA TESORO (IRE)||5||Deron Pearson||Charlie Fellowes|
|MOUNT TAHAN (IRE)||6||T A Rahman||Kevin Ryan|
|MR OWEN (USA)||6||Qatar Racing Limited||David Simcock|
|PETITE JACK||5||W Burn||Archie Watson|
|RED LABEL (IRE)||4||Les Boyer Partnership||Marco Botti|
|STAR ARCHER||4||Khalid Abdullah||Hugo Palmer|
|UTMOST (USA)||4||George Strawbridge & John R Hass||John Gosden|
|VICTORY BOND||5||Bloomsbury Stud||William Haggas|
|WAR DECREE (USA)||4||Andrew Rosen/Sue Magnier/Michael Tabor/Derrick Smith||Aidan O’Brien IRE|
|WAR SECRETARY (USA)||4||Derrick Smith, Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor||Aidan O’Brien IRE|
31 entries remain following February 6 scratchings deadline
THE FOLLOWING 5 HORSES HAVE BEEN SCRATCHED:
C NOTE, ELLEVAL, FIRE FIGHTING, MITCHUM SWAGGER, TRICORN