The Winter Derby (Lingfield – Saturday 25 February, 3.15) was first run in 1998, and it is a Group-3 run over 10-furlongs. No horse has won the race twice, but last year’s winner Grendisar will be hoping to change that statistic, also helping hat-trick seeking jockey Adam Kirby become the first jockey to ride three winners of the race. Meanwhile, the most interesting statistic is that 6-year-olds have won 6 of the last 11 renewals.
10 Runners are set to go to post for the 2017 Winter Derby.
Even with a 5lb penalty, this 6-year-old still comes out 4lb+ well-in compared to all of his rivals on ratings and, if he can repeat the form of either of his third-placings on his last 2 runs behind Tepin and Postponed, he will be very hard to beat. However, this is his first run on the all-weather, he has a new jockey on board, and he’s been off the track for 161-days.
Well-backed to make it a hat-trick of course and distance wins last time, but found the classy pair of Decorated Knight and Arab Spring too good. Has a decent turn-of-pace, but may again find at least a couple too good for him.
Second highest-rated horse, but moody, and has yet to race over this distance. Could be the making of him though as he stayed on well to win a Listed Race over a mile at Pontefract, and he won his only other all-weather start.
Last year’s winner is fitted with blinkers for the first time as he bids to become the first horse to win the race twice, but this year’s renewal looks tougher. Finished behind Battalion last time, but could run into a place if he gets a good gallop to aim at.
A 6-year-old, but over a stone to find on ratings, and unlikely to find the necessary improvement.
Won two course handicaps on his last two starts off 97 and 102, but still has plenty to find to trouble the best of these. Rated 108 at his peak.
Rated only 100, and behind both Battalion and Grendisar here last time.
Ran a tremendous race at Kempton against a smart performer two starts ago, but was a big flop here when well-backed last time. Tough ask.
Returns from 4-months off the track, and he’ll have had to find around 12lb of improvement during his break to trouble the best of these.
Solid all-weather form at Kempton and Wolverhampton, and looks sure to be suited by stepping-up in trip here. Probably won’t prove good enough, but may outrun her odds.
2017 Winter Derby Summary
Battalion and Grendisar bring proven course and distance form to the table but, despite being well-drawn in stalls 1 and 2, they both look vulnerable to the classy pair of Convey and Mutakayyef. Convey could be suited by racing on the all-weather, but it’s hard to get away from the proven class of Mutakayyef, and 6-year-olds have a fantastic record in the race.
2017 Winter Derby Tip
Mutakayyef @ 11/8 (Betfred, Betway)