Mutakayyef headlines 19 acceptors for the £100,000 Group Three Betway Winter Derby (3.15pm) at Lingfield Park on Saturday, February 25, details of which are revealed today.
The 10-furlong Polytrack contest is a Fast-Track Qualifier for the £200,000 Betway Easter Classic over the same course and distance on All-Weather Championships Finals Day, Good Friday, April 14, with the winner gaining a free and guaranteed place in the latter contest.
Mutakayyef (William Haggas, 7/2 with Betway) is top-rated with a mark of 116 after an excellent 2016 campaign on turf. The six-year-old captured the G2 Summer Mile at Ascot in July before finishing third in both the G1 Juddmonte International at York and Canada’s G1 Woodbine Mile.
Decorated Knight (Roger Charlton) is the 5/2 favourite with Betway after denying Arab Spring (Sir Michael Stoute, 7/2) by a short-head when making his All-Weather debut in the Listed Betway Winter Derby Trial at Lingfield Park on February 4 (pictured). They were followed home by Battalion (Jamie Osborne, 13/2), Grendisar (Marco Botti, 8/1) and Mythical Madness (David O’Meara, 20/1) who may all reoppose.
2016 All-Weather Horse Of The Year Grendisar won the Winter Derby impressively last year before taking the Easter Classic on Good Friday, but is yet to replicate those performances this winter.
The one Irish-trained acceptor in the Betway Winter Derby is Pique Sous (25/1) for Ireland’s champion Jump trainer Willie Mullins.
Pique Sous captured the 2014 Queen Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot, but injury has restricted him to just two starts since, the most recent of which came when seventh in the Ascot Handicap in June.
Steve Massey, racing manager for Supreme Racing Club, owners of Pique Sous, said: “Pique Sous is back in full work. He is entered at Dundalk on Friday and is an intended runner at the moment.
“He has had a couple of niggles, nothing serious. We are happy with him now and it is great to have him back. He owes us nothing after his Royal Ascot win, although we feel there are a few big races left in him as he has very low mileage for a 10-year-old.
“He has got plenty of speed which he showed in bumpers. You need speed to win bumpers in Ireland, especially under a penalty.
“The Winter Derby is a big race and probably a big ask given the quality of the some of the other entries. He certainly warrants an entry and whether he runs we will leave that to Willie.
“We are hoping to get three runs into him so that he is qualified for the Marathon final on Good Friday.”
Pique Sous has triumphed in eight of his 19 races, including his one start on the All-Weather, a Dundalk two-mile maiden which he won easily in February, 2013. The Dundalk contest he is entered in on Friday evening is the ASM Chartered Accountants Race (6.00pm) over two miles.
Other notable acceptors for the Betway Winter Derby include Convey (Sir Michael Stoute, 9/1), who was placed three times at G3 level on turf in 2016, last year’s G3 Italian 2000 Guineas scorer Poeta Diletto (Marco Botti, 16/1) and progressive filly Absolute Blast (Iain Jardine, 14/1),
Betway Winter Derby – Betway prices: 5/2 Decorated Knight; 7/2 Arab Spring, Mutakayyef; 13/2 Battalion; 8/1 Grendisar; 9/1 Convey; 14/1 Absolute Blast, Pinzolo; 16/1 Poeta Diletto; 20/1 Mythical Madness, Sixties Groove; 25/1 You’re Fired, Zhui Feng, Pique Sous; 33/1 Belgian Bill; 50/1 Our Channel, Solar Diety, Forceful Appeal; 66/1 Gawdawpalin
The Betway Winter Derby
Group 3, £100,000 Total prize fund. One mile and two furlongs (Polytrack), Lingfield Park, 3.15pm Saturday, February 25. For four-year-olds and upwards. Weights: four-year-old colts & geldings 8st 13lb, fillies 8st 10lb; five-year-old and upwards entires & geldings 9st, mares 8st 11lb. Penalties: after May 31, 2016, a winner of a G3 race 3lb, of a G2 race 5lb, of a G1 race 7lb. Entries closed January 24, entries revealed January 25 (26 entries). Scratchings deadline February 7 (19 acceptors), five-day confirmations February 20, final declarations February 23.
|ABSOLUTE BLAST (IRE)||5||Ibrahim Rachid||Iain Jardine|
|ARAB SPRING (IRE)||7||Ballymacoll Stud||Sir Michael Stoute|
|BATTALION (IRE)||7||Melbourne 10 Racing||Jamie Osborne|
|BELGIAN BILL||9||PJL, Byrne & Baker||George Baker|
|CONVEY||5||Robert Ng||Sir Michael Stoute|
|DECORATED KNIGHT||5||Saleh Al Homaizi & Imad Al Sagar||Roger Charlton|
|FORCEFUL APPEAL (USA)||9||Mark McAllister||Simon Dow|
|GAWDAWPALIN (IRE)||4||H Balasuriya||Sylvester Kirk|
|GRENDISAR (IRE)||7||Middleham Park Racing CXII & K Sohi||Marco Botti|
|MUTAKAYYEF||6||Hamdan Al Maktoum||William Haggas|
|MYTHICAL MADNESS||6||J C G Chua||David O’Meara|
|OUR CHANNEL (USA)||6||Melbourne 10 Racing||Jamie Osborne|
|PINZOLO||6||Sultan Ali||Ismail Mohammed|
|PIQUE SOUS (FR)||10||Supreme Horse Racing Club/Brett Graham||Willie Mullins IRE|
|POETA DILETTO||4||Scuderia Blueberry S R L||Marco Botti|
|SIXTIES GROOVE (IRE)||4||Susan Roy||Jeremy Noseda|
|SOLAR DEITY (IRE)||8||Hodsoll, Chapple-Hyam, Bryan Hirst Ltd||Jane Chapple-Hyam|
|YOU’RE FIRED (IRE)||6||Market Avenue Racing Club & Tim Dykes||Karl Burke|
|ZHUI FENG (IRE)||4||John Connolly & Odile Griffith||Amanda Perrett|