Grandeur a class apart in Winter Derby Trial
Lingfield’s Winter Derby Trial has attracted a field of ten on Saturday but one horse stands out. Grandeur has been plying his trade for Jeremy Noseda across the globe over the past couple of seasons and has twice been successful at Grade 2 level.
The son of Verglas was a smart handicapper as a three-year-old, winning twice at Goodwood and finishing second at Epsom’s Derby meeting. Noseda felt that he would be ideally suited to racing in America and took him to Santa Anita to contest the Grade 2 Twilight Stakes.
He won that in good style and then finished second in the Hollywood Derby to Unbridled Comment. He completed a highly successful stay in America by landing a second Grade 2 prize in the Hollywood Cup.
He was slow to come to hand the following summer but forced the odds-on Mukhadram to pull out all the stops in the Group 2 York Stakes in July. The Arlington Million was his next objective but he was drawn wide and could only finish seventh in a rough race won by Real Solution.
A confidence boosting win at Goodwood in Listed company encouraged connections to take him over for the Hong Kong Cup in December. He did not have the smoothest of runs and finished in midfield behind Akeed Mofeed.
Robin Hoods Bay deserves his chance back at this level after winning a decent handicap here last month. He got the better of Captain Cat by a head but has been struggling at Group 3 level since beating Sennokian Star in a Haydock handicap last August.
Modernstone has been progressive for William Knight and beat Castilo Del Diablo in a conditions race last time. Chookie Royale has been a model of consistency, finishing first or second in his last seven races. He won a Conditions race at Wolverhampton last time by seven lengths but has not beaten anything of Grandeur’s class.
Hajras was highly tried last season but would be a threat on his three-year-old form when second to Mull Of Killough at Newmarket. Anaconda looks the pick of the others but this is a big step up in class for him.