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Lingfield Park

  • 15:30 Winter Derby Trial Stakes 1m 2f

  • (Fast Track Qualifier) (Listed) £45,000 added 4yo+ 10 ran
  • Winner £25,520 2nd £9,675 3rd £4,842 4th £2,412
  • Going: Standard
  • Surface: Polytrack
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 2m 1.17s
  • Off time: 15:33:00

Robin Hoods Bay warming to Winter Derby challenge

Last Updated: 21/02/14 2:27pm

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Robin Hoods Bay: Coming to the boil

Robin Hoods Bay: Coming to the boil

Robin Hoods Bay attempts to start what could be a rewarding few weeks on the all-weather as he takes on Grandeur in the Winter Derby Trial Stakes at Lingfield.

Robin Hoods Bay attempts to start what could be a rewarding few weeks on the all-weather as he takes on Grandeur in the Winter Derby Trial Stakes at Lingfield.

Grandeur, twice a Graded winner in America, is by some way the top-rated in the field and trainer Jeremy Noseda has already revealed next month's Winter Derby is the grey's first main target.

But Ed Vaughan at least knows Robin Hoods Bay can handle the Polytrack, as his gelding was second to Farraaj in last year's Winter Derby itself and was back in the winning routine in a handicap on January 25.

"He had a little niggle at the back-end, and the trip was a bit sharp over a mile on his first run back at Lingfield, but it brought him on to win last time," said Vaughan.

"Grandeur is the one to beat, he's got a stone in hand on the ratings, but at least my horse has won twice over course and distance, in sort of course-record times, and hopefully has a bit left to come.

"With a horse like him, they make their own programme, so we'd be hoping to go on from this to the Winter Derby, and then the Good Friday meeting."

Many others in the field have been in winning action over the winter, with William Knight's Modernstone collecting a Lingfield mile-and-a-half conditions event last month after strong efforts in handicaps, while Anaconda and Chookie Royale have also been on the mark.

Ladies Are Forever is out to repeat her victory from 12 months ago in the Listed Compare Bookmakers At Cleves Stakes.

Geoff Oldroyd's mare also set a five-furlong course record at Lingfield last March but has excelled at both five and six, finishing seventh in the Nunthorpe and Prix de l'Abbaye.

"Her preparation has gone nicely and I would say she will probably be fit enough to win, but it will sharpen her up as well," said the trainer.

"She has strengthened up for the break and is only five and a half (years old) really because she was such a late foal.

"She ran some nice races in those Group Ones last year, not beaten far, and I think she would have been nearer had they been over a bit further.

"She loves the track at Lingfield and still holds the track record over five furlongs.

The idea is to qualify her for Finals Day and she will go back to Lingfield in March for another qualifier and you would be hopeful she would be able to win one of them.

"I would be quite hopeful on Saturday, but it depends what turns up."

Oldroyd will be interested to see Ladies Are Forever taking on her full-brother Hoof It, who is not quite at the level he was for Mick Easterby and owners Lee Westwood and Chubby Chandler.

Trainer Karl Burke is expecting a bold show from Rivellino, who is coming into the race on the back of a neck success over Alben Star in a competitive handicap over course and distance on February 8.

Burke said: "The race comes a week or two earlier than I would have liked, but Rivellino is in good order and has a good draw (one).

"We want to make sure he gets in the sprint on Finals Day as I don't think he will get in off his current rating (98).

"There are only one or two handicaps left that he could go for to increase that rating and obviously this race on Saturday.

"I think he is an improving sprinter and, although it's a step up in class, we have always thought he would be up to this level.

"We are very hopeful that he will run a big race, but he will have to step up on what he has done to win it."

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