Preview: Winter Derby Trial Stakes

Grandeur is a class act, has done well in hot Graded races over in the US last summer and won this very same race last year off a break. No reason why he shouldn’t go well once more today.

Grendisa won back in December a Listed race over course and distance, is a proven All-Weather warrior over variety of trips while giving weight away today however.

Afonso De Sousa makes his first start for a new yard after break. Won as fresh horse before and usually performed well on Dundalk All-Weather in the past.

Ansaab has done really well at Lingfield over CD last two starts, when beaten by a neck and won by a neck in class 3 Handicaps. More required here but deserves his chance.

Cloudscape hasn’t been seen since 1.5l fourth in Group 3 over 12f at Goodwood. Drop in trip should suit if fit on reappearance. Won fresh last year and on debut on Kempton AW.

Maverick Wave has a 100% record over course and distance, won last month good class 2 Handicap. Fom pick in this field with more improvement likely.

What About Carlo is back off a break, won as fresh horse in the past and over 10f. All-Weather debut. Hard to know what to expect today.

Lamar proved himself an AW specialist. Won the last two in conditions races. Has to prove stamina today though.

Verdict: This is an ultra competitive contest and I’m surprised to see such a huge difference in prices. Yes, Grandeur is a fair favourite for obvious reasons. He’s here to defend his crown and no doubt will be the one to beat. But there are a couple of progressive rivals in the line-up that can be dangerous to underestimate. So I’m happily oppose him today.

I believe John Gosden has a very strong hand in this race. Cloudscape is a very interesting contender for obvious reasons. Still rather lightly raced, he shaped with loads of promise last season and has some excellent form to his name. If he is fit and well and has wintered well, he is a big runner. His price doesn’t really offer value in my mind though. Which looks different for Gosden’s second horse, Maverick Wave. An all the time improving colt, he is unbeaten at Lingfield over 10f and may have a tactical advantage if let loose in front. He deserves a shot on this and the weight he receives from the more fancied rivals, he is in with a big chance as on the ratings he hasn’t to find all that much.

Grendisar is a strong travelling horse, who will need a strong pace and all the luck in the world here. he is a classy individual but I feel the race may not be run to suit him. Afonso De Sousa also wouldn’t like it to be a crawl with all his wins on the All-Weather came over 11f. He is an interesting runner nonetheless on his debut for David O’Meara. Improving handicapper Ansaab deserves a shot at this too, but potentially he is not good enough.

I’m intrigued by bottom weight Lamar. He is really progressive on the All-Weather, won two conditions races over shorter last month and finished a strong fourth over 7f in a very competitive listed race at Deauville. I believe he has more to give and looks extremely overpriced. Question mark is the trip. However it’s only his second try over 10f and he didn’t seem to stop over 9.5f at Wolverhampton, also on pedigree there is a fair chance that he can get thus far. He may be tracking the leader, and if this won’t won’t be run at a mad pace, it could play very much in his hands.

Maverick Wave @ 13/2 VC – 5pts win
Lamar @ 20/1 VC – 5pts win

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