Grandeur hit with worst possible draw in Winter Derby
Supporters of Grandeur in Saturday’s coral.co.uk Winter Derby at Lingfield have been dealt a blow with the news that the grey will break from stall 14 of 14. Jeremy Noseda’s gelding has been well backed in the ante-post market but bookmakers will be tempted to push him out in view of the draw.
The horse will also wear cheek pieces for the first time, although Noseda has stressed that punters should see this as a positive thing. Ryan Moore felt that he was idling in front in the Winter Derby Trial and the headgear is purely to help him concentrate in the closing stages.
Grandeur, twice a Grade 2 winner in America, is rated at least 7lbs superior to his rivals. The nearest to him on official ratings is the veteran Premier Loco.
He was second in this race back in 2009 and won it in 2012. Last year he finished fifth to Farraaj who held off Robin Hoods Bay by half a length.
Roger Varian’s gelding disappointed on his subsequent starts but arrived here fresh last season and could be a threat from stall 9. Robin Hoods Bay finished two and a quarter lengths down on Grandeur in the trial and did not enjoy the best of runs.
Godolphin will be represented by Windhoek, their first runner in the UK this year. The four-year-old won a handicap at Meydan in January and won twice last season for Mark Johnston.
Rebellious Guest set a new course record at Kempton last time, his first start over this distance. Trainer George Margarson accepts that the son of Cockney Rebel needs to improve but is expecting a bold run.
Chil The Kite has proved very disappointing for Hughie Morrison while Dick Doughtywylie has plenty to find on official figures.