Skip to content

Winter Derby Trial: Enemy lowers colours of Military Order and The Foxes in Southwell feature

Ian Williams' Enemy proved too strong for Military Order and The Foxes, who both lined up in last year's Derby; Enemy manage to power on strongly to deny the Godolphin favourite by a head at the line

Ian Williams took the feature at Southwell with Enemy on Thursday
Image: Ian Williams took the feature at Southwell with Enemy on Thursday

Enemy lowered the colours of some big names as he showed plenty of resilience to hold off 11-8 favourite Military Order in a thrilling finish to the BetUK Winter Derby Trial Conditions Stakes at Southwell.

In a classy contest at the Rolleston venue, it was Charlie Appleby's Military Order who was fancied to get his career back on track in a race that also featured Dante scorer The Foxes and Royal Ascot winners Claymore and Sir Busker.

In the early stages, it was Claymore who led the field along, with Military Order content to race in his slipstream on his first start since being gelded.

Newbury joins Sky Sports Racing in 2024!
Newbury joins Sky Sports Racing in 2024!

The Sky Sports Racing family is growing with every race from Newbury, including the Lockinge and the Coral Gold Cup, all live on the channel from 2024!

Enemy, meanwhile, was ridden patiently at the rear of the field by Rossa Ryan and still had the whole pack to pass when things began to get serious entering the home straight.

Military Order was arguably travelling best as he edged his way to the front entering the final two furlongs, but Ryan was beginning to wind Enemy up to top gear and came to make his challenge inside the final furlong.

Enemy was soon flying home and, running on strongly, he bravely held on by a head after a tussle with last year's Godolphin Derby runner in the closing stages.

The 17-2 winner has predominantly plied his trade over further of late and, having gone close over two miles at Newcastle last time, his trainer Ian Williams was thrilled to see him put in such a brave effort down in trip against some quality operators.

Also See:

Follow Sky Sports Racing on Twitter
Follow Sky Sports Racing on Twitter

See the latest horse racing news, interviews and features from Sky Sports Racing

"It was a huge performance and we were a bit concerned running him over a shorter trip, but he has been a class performer at this trip on his day," said Williams.

"That is probably a step up on what he has done before and will lead to some nice chats with his owner about what we do next. Over this trip, that was a good performance.

"We didn't send him to Meydan this winter and we just needed a race to give him a blow in and see where our options were. We'll see what our options are now and I'm not sure what we will do until I have spoken with the owners.

"He's a horse who has travelled in the past and can travel, so lots of options remain open. He is entered in the Red Sea (Turf Handicap) in Saudi, which he was second in last year, but the owners aren't mad keen, so we will just have to see.

"He's beaten some good horses there and over that trip it was a massive performance."

Oisin Murphy and The Foxes get the better of White Birch in the Dante Stakes at York
Image: Oisin Murphy and The Foxes get the better of White Birch in the Dante Stakes at York

King Power pleased with The Foxes return

It was Andrew Balding's The Foxes who picked up the final spot on the podium, a length and three-quarters further back, and connections were thrilled with the Dante hero's first outing since running in the Juddmonte International Stakes last summer.

"It was a good run and a prep run and we are pleased," said Pippa Tuthill, assistant racing manager to owners King Power Racing.

"We'll see how he comes out of this and make a plan from there. He's a fun horse and we're hoping to have a fun season with him going forward."

Around Sky