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Classy Ertijaal to star in Spring Cup at Lingfield

It is Winter Derby day at Lingfield on Saturday and there is a high class entry headed by Grandeur. The heavily backed favourite has to overcome a wide draw but has the assistance of Ryan Moore and first time cheek pieces.

The globetrotting grey was a comfortable winner of the trial but tended to hang fire in the closing stages. Trainer Jeremy Noseda is confident that the new headgear will help him to sustain his run.

Godolphin’s new acquisition Windhoek and the consistent Robin Hoods Bay are likely dangers. The latter was second in this race a year again behind Farraaj and did not enjoy a smooth passage when close up in the trial.

The Spring Cup at 3.15 should also go to the hot favourite with the William Haggas-trained Ertijaal. The son of Oasis Dream came up against the smart Toormore on his debut at Leicester and he went on to be the top-rated two-year-old.

Ertijaal ran on gamely to finish only a quarter of a length behind the Hannon horse and duly landed the odds on his next start at Yarmouth. The colt holds entries in the English and Irish 2000 Guineas and he should have the class to overcome his wide draw.

Eve Johnson-Houghton’s Alutiq and Andrew Balding’s Pool House have been in winning form. Expert represents the Hannon yard while Brazos could run well for veteran trainer Clive Brittain.

There are some decent sprinters on display in the 1.50. Three of these ran behind Tarooq last month with Iptisam finishing fourth, Ladies Are Forever sixth and Forest Edge eleventh.

Stepper Point and Kingsgate Choice were prolific winners last season but are having their first outing since the Prix de L’Abbaye. It may be worth taking a chance with Forest Edge in a very tricky contest.

Haggas has a chance of a double in the mile maiden at 4.25 with the unraced Mount Shamsan. However, he faces a potentially smart opponent in L’Importante who was sixth on his debut last season.

Selections: 2.10 Sian Gwalia, 2.40 Forest Edge, 3.15 Ertijaal, 3.50 Grandeur, 4.20 L’Importante, 5.00 Highland Knight