Winter Derby Trial
Southwell’s Winter Derby Trial: A Stellar Cast in “The Best Race Yet”

Southwell’s Winter Derby Trial: A Stellar Cast in “The Best Race Yet”

The Winter Derby Trial, a six-runner contest previously held at Lingfield, serves as a precursor to the Group 3 Winter Derby on February 24, which will mark the first Group race at the Tapeta venue. This trial has been adjusted to cover a distance of 1m3f, a furlong longer than its previous setup. The competitive field includes notable contenders such as The Foxes, a Pattern performer, creating an exciting lineup for the race.

Mark Clayton, the executive director at the track, expressed delight at the strong turnout for the Winter Derby Trial, emphasizing the presence of top-level horses like The Foxes and Military Order, both Group 1 performers, and regarding it as the best race the venue has staged. Alastair Donald, representing owners King Power Racing, shared that The Foxes is using the trial as a preparatory race for the Neom Cup in Saudi Arabia the following month. While acknowledging the distance to be slightly longer than ideal, he emphasized the significance of using this race as the most suitable prep for the colt.

Adding further insight, he mentioned their preference for a race covering ten furlongs, given The Foxes’ past performance in longer races. However, he acknowledged the lack of pace in the Winter Derby Trial and highlighted the race as an opportune platform to kickstart the colt’s season. The trainer, Charlie Appleby, expressed confidence in Military Order’s readiness for the trial, noting that the horse had been gelded and would benefit from the reduction in trip distance.

On the other hand, trainer Jane Chapple-Hyam spoke optimistically about the readiness of her horse, Claymore, who had been in good shape since the Deauville races and was anticipated to perform well over a mile and three furlongs. The text concludes with an unrelated mention of Racing Post’s offers.

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