Gosdens Triple-handed As Lord North Tops BetUK Winter Derby

Championship News

20 February 2024

Last year’s winner Lord North heads nine confirmations for the G3 BetUK Winter Derby (3.20pm) over 11 furlongs, highlight of Southwell’s Premier Raceday on Saturday, February 24.


The multiple G1 winner outclassed his opposition 12 months ago, when it was run over a mile and quarter at Lingfield Park, and followed up with his third successive victory in the G1 Dubai Turf.


John & Thady Gosden have a strong hand as the yard looks for a fifth win in the BetUK Winter Derby, with Lord North joined by four-year-old Lion’s Pride and 2021 victor Forest Of Dean.


Lion’s Pride rounded off his 2023 campaign with a comfortable success in the Listed Floodlit Stakes at Kempton Park, form that received a notable boost with runner-up Measured Time going on to G1 glory in Dubai.


Tyrrhenian Sea also captured a significant all-weather prize at the backend of last year, with Roger Varian’s runner annexing the Listed BetUK Quebec Stakes at Lingfield Park.


Eydon is on course to make his first appearance for Andrew Balding, nearly two years on from his promising fourth in the G1 2,000 Guineas on his final start for Varian.


Balding is also responsible for Teumessias Fox, who looks worthy of a step up in class after an impressive handicap victory at Kempton Park last month.


Charlie Appleby’s Military Order fared best of the three remaining entries who contested the BetUK Winter Derby Trial over the course and distance last month, when he was beaten a head by Enemy.


Group winners Sir Busker and Claymore, who finished fourth and sixth in the trial, also go forward for William Knight and Jane Chapple-Hyam. 


Clarendon House is one of the headline acts in the five-furlong Listed BetUK Hever Sprint (2.45pm), which has also been moved from Lingfield Park.


Robert Cowell’s runner has looked rejuvenated in three starts since undergoing a gelding operation, including setting a track record over the course and distance in December.


Connections raised his sights for the G2 Blue Point Sprint at Meydan last month and the six-year-old was not disgraced as he finished fourth behind Star Of Mystery.


Tim Palin of Middleham Park Racing said: “Clarendon House broke the course record at Southwell two starts ago, which prompted us to have a go at the G2 sprint at Meydan.


“I think the run in Dubai confirmed that he is a little better on the Tapeta than anywhere else. We have spoken to the handicapper and he agrees, so he is going to be rated 112 on the all-weather and 107 on the turf.


“He probably would have been playing for places had we stayed in Dubai for Super Saturday, whereas it looks as though he will have a favourite’s chance at Southwell, especially as we will effectively be 7lb well-in with Diligent Harry.


“This will also be Clarendon House’s third qualifying run for Finals Day, which gives us another option, although we are not all in on that given it is an open handicap over six furlongs.


“His next big target after Saturday is the Dash on Derby Day – he was just touched off last year and those real speed tests are home games for him.”


Reigning all-weather Sprint champion Diligent Harry also features among the 13 entries, following his successful return for Clive Cox in the Listed BetUK Kachy Stakes at Lingfield Park.


Irish trainer Jack Davison has entered Newbury G3 scorer Thunderbear, while David O’Meara is represented by Stewards’ Cup hero Aberama Gold.


Scott Dixon’s One Night Stand captured the 2022 Hever Sprint and looks back on song following class two handicap victories at Lingfield Park and Wolverhampton.


Impressive course and distance scorer Hiya Maite and Juan Les Pins are other entries to note for Roy Bowring and Mick Appleby.


The first Premier Raceday on the all-weather in 2024 has attracted 138 entries, with prize money of £265,000 across the seven races.


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