A classy renewal of the Group Three Winter Derby at Lingfield Park ushers in the Flat Season 2014
With Newbury holding its final jumps fixture of the season, a classy renewal of the Group Three Winter Derby ushers in the Flat Season 2014. Next Saturday the turf flat season will be in full swing with the running of the Lincoln at Doncaster, but the all weather fair on offer at Lingfield may provide valuable pointers for the year ahead.
William Haggas runs his highly regarded Ertijaal in the Spring Cup (3.15) before a potential tilt at the 2000 Guineas. The draw may not be advantageous but he should have the form and ability to see off his rivals.
Grandeur and Faraaj will clash in the Lingfield feature, but may be deprived of a Winter Derby victory by the rejuvenated Windhoek or the veteran 2013 winner Premio Loco.
At Newbury an open looking Mares Final could go the way of Down Ace who has been so consistent this winter and was just outclassed at the Festival against rivals like the super-mare Quevega.
Crockford’s Dead Cert – Warden Hill (Bangor 3.50)
This Channon horse has always looked talented and now placed in a lower grade affair he should relish the opportunity to score another victory. Third last time out in a Grade Two contest at Doncaster and having earlier in the season beaten the useful Carole’s Destrier who franked the form with a good win last Saturday.
Crockford’s Whisper – Down Ace e/w (Newbury 2.55)
Winner of a good listed contest at Taunton having the consistent performer As I Am behind that day. Has only been disappointing once this season behind Quevega at the Festival. Now down in grade against much weaker rivals expect a big run from the mare. Claimers weight will be useful too.
Archer’s Selection – Ertijaal (Lingfield 3.15)
20/1 for 2000 Guineas 2014 his form would have stood out to the Champion jockey. The shrewd horseman would not have missed his form with the highly regarded Toormore.
Crockford’s Gambles on Saturday 22 March:
Newbury – Greywell Boy e/w (2.20),Down Ace e/w (2.55), Highland Lodge e/w (3.30), Aldopicgros (4.05) and Tea For Two (4.40)
Lingfield – Ladies Are Forever (2.40), Ertijaal (3.15), Premio Loco e/w and Windhoek e/w (Winter Derby 3.50), Stasio e/ w (5.00) and Swing Alone e/w (5.35)
Bangor – Irish Cavalier (2.15), Lienosus (2.45), Absinthe (3.20), Warden Hill (3.50) and Big Hands Harry (5.55)
Kelso – Gullinbursti (2.00) and Taxiformissbyron e/w (3.40)
Stratford – Royale Knight (3.00) and Willow Island (4.45)
Gowran – Vicky De L’Oasis (4.00) and Fine Article (5.45)
(Featured Photograph – Newmarket Gallops by Stuart Rice)