Grandeur - 2014 Winter Derby LingfieldJeremy Noseda’s five year old Grandeur (pictured) is the hot favourite for the Coral sponsored 2014 Winter Derby at Lingfield on Saturday, but at a best price of 11/8 (2.38) is he worth backing? Can anything beat him? Read on to find out our take on this year’s Winter Derby…

Here are the important Winter Derby trends, that will help us to build a profile of a potential winner of the £200,000 race from Lingfield Park:

Key Trends

Past Form

  • All of the last 12 Winter Derby winners had previously won an All Weather race
  • All of the last 12 winners had won a race worth £14,000 or more
  • 10 of the last 12 winners had won over 1m 2f

As the Lingfield Winter Derby is run on the All Weather over a trip of 1m 2f, it goes without saying that wins on artificial surfaces over that distance are a positive. The two horses that had yet to score at the trip were both Class 1 winners, so don’t dismiss classy horses that are yet to try the trip. Furthermore, we want our selection to be good enough to have won a race of some value; success in every day handicaps are not enough.

Current Form

  • 7 of the last 12 winners of the Winter Derby had won a race that year

The five exceptions to this particular Winter Derby trend were all contesting their first race of the year. So quite simply, we want to avoid horses that are yet to win in 2014, unless they haven’t actually raced yet.

Ability

  • All of the last 12 Winter Derby winners had won at Class 2 or better
  • 11 of the last 12 winners were rated 100 or better
  • 10 of the last 12 winners were rated 104 or better

The only horse from the last 12 renewals not to be officially rated three figures was Caluki back in 2004, who was making his first appearance in Britain and therefore had no rating. Back in 2002, Adiemus was rated exactly 100 – every winner since has been 104 or better, so we will use this as our cut off point when attempting to pick our 2014 Winter Derby horse.

Age

  • 6 of the last 12 Winter Derby winners were aged 4
  • 6 of the last 12 winners were aged 6 to 8
  • No winner of the Winter Derby has ever been aged 9 or older

There are no strong Winter Derby trends when it comes to age, though we should probably avoid horses older than 8. There is arguably a slight bias towards the 6 to 8 age range as their 6 wins in the last 12 years came from just 37% of the total runners, compared to the 63% of runners aged 4 or 5.

Summary

Jeremy Noseda’s five year old gelding Grandeur is a warm order for the 2014 Lingfield Winter Derby and he certainly meets all of the above trends. He has landed a couple of Group 2 races in the USA as well as a Listed race in Britain, but prior to lining up in the Winter Derby trial at Lingfield, he had never raced on the All Weather before. He was giving away weight that day and still won by three parts of a length, despite both trainer and jockey feeling that he hit the front far too soon. All the evidence points to a Winter Derby success for Grandeur.

However, at a current best price of 11/8 (2.38) with SkyBet we’re not going to get rich backing him, plus there are three others that also tick all of the trends boxes. Could there be any value in an Each-Way play on one of these?

Saeed bin Suroor trains Windhoek, currently an 8/1 (9.00) chance with race sponsors Coral. Another who made his All Weather debut last time out, he won a valuable handicap out in Meydan by a head. That surface is different to the Polytrack found at Lingfield, and prior to making the switch to Godolphin, the horse’s form had been modest.

Parish Hall is an interesting contender for Ireland and Jim Bolger. Last seen when well beaten in the Group 1 Champion Stakes at Ascot, the five year old is a former Dewhurst winner who once got within two lengths of Camelot over in Ireland. The only thing that puts me off is the 3lb penalty for winning the Group 3 Diamond Stakes over in Dundalk, the horse’s only run on Polytrack, but the current best price of 10/1 (11.00) with William Hill could still be seen as generous.

Last year’s Winter Derby winner Farraaj is one that certainly meets all of the above trends and were it not for the presence of the favourite, his odds of 6/1 (7.00) with the sponsors Coral would surely be much shorter. Well beaten in a Group 1 over in the USA last time out, his two other efforts on the All Weather both came at Lingfield and both ended in success (the Listed Churchill Stakes and of course, the Winter Derby itself).

If you are looking for an Each-Way angle to the race, you could do far worse than to take up the sponsors on their 6/1 (7.00) about last year’s winner.

Advice

The 2014 Winter Derby
Saturday March 22nd, 15:50

Grandeur @ 11/8 (2.38) with SkyBet

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