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Winter Derby preview: Skies can Clear away to win

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Nick Seddon uses Timeform's Early Position Map to work out the best bet in Saturday's Group 3 Winter Derby at Lingfield.

Trials tend to have a mixed record when it comes to offering up clues for the actual race itself, with some proving to be more helpful than others. Whilst Lingfield's Winter Derby Trial may initially fail to convince on that front - only Grendisar in 2016 went on to win the Winter Derby in the last ten renewals - Saturday's Winter Derby looks like it could turn out to be a mirror image of the trial from a pace perspective.

 

Who is likely to set the pace?

Timeform's Early Position Map predicted a lack of early pace in the trial three weeks ago, something which the winner Utmost took full advantage of - making all under Robert Havlin, who according to our Jockey Dashboard rides horses from the front/prominently more frequently than your average jockey.

Robert havlin jockey radar Timeform

Havlin partners up with Utmost once more on Saturday, and, with very little early pace expected, Utmost is likely to attempt to repeat the trick and attempt take advantage once more. He looks to have a strong chance of doing exactly that, but has 6 lb to find with the best of these on weight-adjusted ratings.

Lingfield Winter derby trial 2018 Timeform

Battle Of Marathon is one of just two who reoppose Utmost here, and very much seemed to excel himself three weeks ago, finishing third at a huge price. The six-year-old came from further back than ideal and it could be a similar story here. Petite Jack, meanwhile, finished sixth, unable to quicken from a good position behind the leader.

 

Who are the leading contenders?

Gabrial is a familiar name in the fold and continues to be kept busy at the grand old age of nine, but his tendency to start slowly is a concern here, having been well held when on the back foot from the start in a conditions race at Wolverhampton last time out. Mr Owen was in front of him that night, finding it just too tough to concede 3 lb to a smart sort, and he can once again give his running here. Master The World is very competitive at this level on a going day, and would have claims if bouncing back from a below-par run in a listed race here in December.

Khalidi competed at the highest level as a three-year-old last season, and whilst his supplementary entry for the Epsom Derby proved a little too optimistic, he ran to a smart level when placing at both Royal Ascot and Goodwood and would have claims if fully tuned up on reappearance. The returning Autocratic made his Group-level breakthrough in last year's Brigadier Gerard at Sandown, though would need to fare better than his subsequent two starts at Haydock and Windsor.

 

Can Convey win back-to-back renewals?

Last year's Winter Derby winner Convey is another who returns from an absence, not seen since running below form in the Group 1 Champions Mile at Sha Tin last May. That was perhaps a little too hot for him though, and he had been in the form of his life prior to that - bettering his Winter Derby win in the Easter Classic on Good Friday. He won this race last year on the back of a lengthy break, and has to be respected in his bid to win back-to-back renewals.

The field is completed by the highly progressive Clear Skies, who has done nothing but progress at Dundalk this winter, racking up five wins in her last six starts. Aidan O'Brien is more widely known for his exploits in the Epsom Derby, but this race could well have been the plan for Clear Skies for a while.

The five-year-old could only hit the frame when stepped up to two miles in December, but she bounced back a month later with her best effort yet, producing a smart performance to forge clear with plenty in hand in a 1m2f handicap. She tops our weight-adjusted ratings and looks ready for the step up in class.

 

What is the best bet in the Winter Derby?

Utmost made all when winning the trial here three weeks ago, and should make a bold bid to repeat the trick here. However, in Clear Skies he meets a highly progressive rival, who should be well positioned under Ryan Moore - she is fancied to take this step up in class in her stride. Last year's winner Convey and Khalidi are respected.

 

Recommended bet:

Clear Skies to win Saturday's Winter Derby at Lingfield at 3/1

 

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CHELTENHAM 15:05

Saturday 15 December
4. SUMMERVILLE BOY (IRE) 174
Noel Fehily silk Noel Fehily
Tom George
2. THE NEW ONE (IRE) 169
Sam Twiston-Davies silk Sam Twiston-Davies horse for course
Nigel Twiston-Davies
6. VISION DES FLOS (FR) 167
Robbie Power silk Robbie Power
Colin Tizzard
Go to Full Race

LATEST HORSE RACING RESULTS

21:00 DUNDALK

1st C. T. Keane silk 1. LADY DE VESCI (IRE) 5/23.5f
2nd C. P. Hoban silk 12. MARMALADE N TOAST (IRE) 6/17
3rd N. M. Crosse silk 1 9. A FEW BOB SHORT (IRE) 6/17
J: C. T. Keane  
14 ran. NRs: 16  17  7 
FULL RESULT

20:45 KEMPTON PARK

1st Hector Crouch silk 10. TAMERLANE (IRE) 11/82.37f
2nd Martin Harley silk 7. IN THE RED (IRE) 33/134
3rd Callum Shepherd silk 1. TREACHEROUS 9/25.5
T: Clive Cox  
10 ran. NRs: 3 
FULL RESULT

20:30 DUNDALK

1st N. M. Crosse silk 10. RAG TATTER 8/19
2nd S. M. Mooney silk nk 7. CONFIDENT KID 10/111
3rd D. E. Hogan silk ½ 2. LILY'S PRINCE (IRE) 18/119
J: N. M. Crosse (7)  
13 ran. NRs: 14  15 
FULL RESULT

20:15 KEMPTON PARK

1st David Probert silk 4. KYLLACHY DRAGON (IRE) 11/26.5
2nd Adam Kirby silk 1 5. GREY GALLEON (USA) 4/15cf
3rd Shane Kelly silk 2. ESPRESSO FREDDO (IRE) 4/15cf
9 ran. NRs: 10  3 
FULL RESULT

20:00 DUNDALK

1st M. A. Gallagher silk 6. BILLYFAIRPLAY (IRE) 7/24.5f
2nd D. E. Hogan silk 5. MERCURY 6/17
3rd Gearoid Patrick Brouder silk hd 14. THE BITTERN CRY (IRE) 16/117
13 ran. NRs: 1  15  16 
FULL RESULT

19:45 KEMPTON PARK

1st Martin Harley silk 10. CASPAR THE CUB (IRE) 5/23.5
2nd Charles Bishop silk 1. COUNT CALABASH (IRE) 6/17
3rd David Probert silk ¾ 5. PIPES OF PEACE (IRE) 11/82.37f
T: Alan King  
9 ran. NRs: 3 
FULL RESULT

19:30 DUNDALK

1st Oisin James Orr silk 1. ALFREDO ARCANO (IRE) 6/42.5f
2nd R. P. Cleary silk 2. STANHOPE 15/28.5
3rd K. J. Leonard silk 1 7. DUCKY MALLON (IRE) 16/117
J: Oisin James Orr (3)  
All 8 ran.
FULL RESULT

19:15 KEMPTON PARK

1st Darragh Keenan silk 2. SHINING ARMOR 13/82.62f
2nd Adam Kirby silk hd 4. RETICENT ANGEL (IRE) 11/26.5
J: Darragh Keenan (5)  
T: John Ryan  
All 5 ran.
FULL RESULT

19:00 DUNDALK

1st Ben Martin Coen silk 14. VIEW THE BAY (IRE) 5/23.5f
2nd R. P. Cleary silk nk 6. TWENTY MINUTES 6/17
3rd C. T. Keane silk 3. MAKE A CHALLENGE (IRE) 16/117
J: Ben Martin Coen (5)  
13 ran. NRs: 12  15 
FULL RESULT
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