Win with Wind in Winter Derby

  • By: Anita Chambers
  • Last Updated: March 22 2014, 17:49 GMT

Windhoek can claim Winter Derby glory at Lingfield on Saturday, says Anita Chambers, who has a tip for every UK race.

Windhoek: Primed for action and has a good draw
Windhoek: Primed for action and has a good draw

BANGOR: 2.15 Serenity Now, 2.45 Bob Ford, 3.20 Nordic Quest, 3.55 King's Grace, 4.30 Kris Spin, 5.05 Take The Cash, 5.40 Otago Trail.

GOWRAN: 2.20 Shield, 2.50 Moonlight Boy, 3.25 Oscars Business, 4.00 Daliyan, 4.35 Miss Xian, 5.10 Carry Each Other, 5.45 Fine Article.

KELSO: 1.30 War Lord, 2.00 Isla Pearl Fisher, 2.30 Lie Forrit, 3.05 Jet Master, 3.40 Plan Again, 4.15 Too Cool To Fool, 4.50 Golans Choice.

LINGFIELD: 2.10 Sian Gwalia, 2.40 Ladies Are Forever, 3.15 Alutiq, 3.50 WINDHOEK (NAP), 4.25 Court Room, 5.00 George Guru, 5.35 Villa Royale.

NEWBURY: 1.50 Sign Of A Victory, 2.20 Bally Legend, 2.55 Free Thinking, 3.30 Reblis, 4.05 Stiff Upper Lip, 4.40 Gaitway, 5.15 Sands Cove.

STRATFORD: 1.55 Me And Ben, 2.25 Captain Sharpe, 3.00 Stormhoek, 3.35 Moss On The Mill, 4.10 Marleno, 4.45 Sammyman, 5.20 Powertakeoff.

DOUBLE: Windhoek and Alutiq.

Windhoek failed to live up to Classic aspirations last term but he can still taste Derby glory with victory at Lingfield on Saturday.

The four-year-old looked set for big things when winning a richly-endowed sales contest and the Listed Newmarket Stakes last spring with then trainer Mark Johnston inspired to try him in the Dante Stakes, for which he was not unfancied.

However, he was found wanting at York and then again at Royal Ascot, suggesting that Group Three company at those kind of meetings was a notch above his true level.

A drop to handicaps and a mile saw him run satisfactorily at Goodwood while he made the frame in a competitive York heat last August before again claiming second back over 10 furlongs at Beverley.

That was to be his last outing for Johnston, with Godolphin snapping him up to add to Saeed bin Suroor's team and Windhoek got off to a flier when winning a Meydan handicap in January.

He looked a fair bit better than the head margin would suggest too as he refused to settle and raced wide throughout.

Windhoek has something to find with favourite Grandeur in the Winter Derby, but he is clearly primed for action and crucially has a much better draw than the market leader.

A recent course outing should have Ladies Are Forever spot on for the Hever Sprint Stakes.

She finished a fine seventh in the Prix de l'Abbaye last term and was expected to make her mark when lining up over six furlongs at the Surrey venue last month.

Ladies Are Forever finished only sixth that day but did far too much from a wide draw and just failed to see out the longer sprint trip.

Dropped back to the minimum distance for this Listed heat, it will be a surprise if Geoff Oldroyd's charge is not in the mix.

Alutiq boasts Classic entries next month and holds leading claims in the 32Red Spring Cup.

Eve Johnston Houghton tried the filly pretty highly as a juvenile, running in everything from the Super Sprint at Newbury to the Group One Cheveley Park Stakes.

She was comprehensively found out on the last occasion but bounced back to her best to take advantage in a conditions race at Lingfield back in January.

Favoured at the weights, Alutiq showed an excellent attitude in winning by half a length, with seemingly more than a little in hand.

She again gets a handy pull in the weights and can exploit that once again.

Free Thinking hit the bar at Doncaster recently but should be on the mark in the EBF Stallions & TBA Mares' "National Hunt" Novices' Hurdle Finale at Newbury.

A daughter of the admirable mare Liberthine, Free Thinking was clearly not right when last in a similar event to this at Newbury back in November.

Given a bit of time to get over those exertions, she reappeared so score a decent second under a penalty on Town Moor.

That run should have accounted for any ring-rustiness and Nicky Henderson is obviously aiming to enhance her paddock value.

Lucinda Russell's patience with Lie Forrit can pay dividends in the Bentley Homes Handicap Hurdle at Kelso.

He returned to winning ways at Wetherby in October but has disappointed twice since, running very flat at Carlisle before Christmas.

That did not look to be his true running and Lie Forrit can regain his best form at a track he has shown to suit in the past.

Moss On The Mill can strike in the Bet With Course Bookmakers Handicap Hurdle at Stratford, while Nordic Quest can do the business in the Anno 1366 Handicap Hurdle at Bangor.

  • Posted at 1425 GMT on 21/03/2014.

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