Winter Derby preview: Dubai Warrior worth a wager at Lingfield

14th September 2021

2020 Winter Derby preview from Lingfield includes Bangkok

Trainer John Gosden and Frankie Dettori won the 1m 2f Group 3 Winter Derby last year with Wissahickon, so could repeat with Dubai Warrior in the feature all-weather contest at Lingfield on Saturday (15:15).

This four-year-old Dansili colt is four from five on an artificial surface and landed on the trials for this race last time out.

Greater experience in this sphere may give him an edge over main market rival Bangkok. Dubai Warrior won his sole juvenile outing at Chelmsford and has been progressive.

While he didn’t take to the turf in a similar grade affair to this at Longchamp last September, he has since scored on both starts back on the all-weather.

After defying a mark of 103 to land a Chelmsford handicap, Dubai Warrior was pitched into Listed company for the Quebec Stakes over course and distance in December.

He was shaken up to lead approaching two out and ridden clear in the final furlong.

Although Dubai Warrior was getting 2lb from the re-opposing runner-up and stable companion Court House, he ran out a comfortable 3 3/4 lengths victor.

With Bangkok in the mix, this demands more. Dubai Warrior is open to further progress after just six career starts, however, and the booking of Dettori suggests connections mean business.

At the odds on offer, 2/1 with Ladbrokes, Dubai Warrior appeals most for a Winter Derby renewal which looks on all known form to be a two-horse race.

Ratings topper Bangkok feared most

The aforementioned Bangkok is officially 4lb and upwards clear of the field.

Andrew Balding’s runner is a short-price favourite with bookmakers on that basis and brings leading turf form claims into this.

This King Power Racing owned son of Australia was a Classic contender last season.

He came into his three-year-old campaign as a maiden, but broke that tag when beating subsequent Dante winner Telecaster by 1 1/4 lengths at Doncaster on Lincoln day.

Bangkok then followed-up in this grade with victory in Sandown’s Classic Trial.

He was 1 1/4 lengths too good for Technician, who went on to land the Geoffrey Freer at Newbury and Group 1 Prix Royal-Oak on Arc weekend at Longchamp.

Off the back of those efforts, Bangkok was sent off 9/1 for The Derby but trailed in last but one in the Epsom Classic. He confirmed Doncaster form with Telecaster, though.

The four-year-old was then runner-up to Japan in the Group 2 Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot and a below par fifth to Elarqam in the York Stakes.

He returned to the Knavesmire during the Ebor Festival and was held just a neck by Zaaki in the Strensall.

After filling the runner-up spot again in the Qatar Derby in Doha, Bangkok resumed winning ways when eased in grade to Listed level over course and distance.

He ran out 4 1/2 lengths too good for Court House off level weights in the Winter Derby Trial.

Bangkok is entitled to be favourite on this very smart form, but cramped odds of 4/5 with 888Sport reflect that. Balding’s yard is bang in-form too, so he is opposed on price alone.

Court House the each-way alternative in Winter Derby

If one or other of the market principals fail to fire, then the Gosden stable’s second string, Court House, has a fine record at Lingfield.

This five-year-old was runner-up to Wissahickon in last year’s Winter Derby. Court House has two wins and four places from seven career starts at this venue, all on the all-weather.

His second victory in a conditions contest over 1m 4f here last January saw him make all the running and beat the useful Scarlet Dragon by 4 1/2 lengths.

The Dawn Approach gelding was then third to Wissahickon in the Winter Derby Trial, before going one place better in the race itself 12 months ago. On both occasions he was beaten about three lengths.

Although then not so good when sixth to Matterhorn in the Easter Classic on All-Weather Finals Day, he has since chased home both Winter Derby fancies in the trials.

That puts Court House a clear best of the rest. The remainder of the seven-runner field are all older horses open to far less, if any, improvement.

As Court House has something to find with both Dubai Warrior and Bangkok, he needs one to under-perform.

In the event that happens, odds of 14/1 with Betfred look worth considering each-way for the Winter Derby this year.

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