Lord North Set For History Today

Southwell first is off at 16h45

Robert Havlin believes Lord North is ‘where he was this time last year’ as the eight-year-old aims to become the first dual winner of the Gr3 BetUK Winter Derby highlight of Southwell’s Premier Raceday today.

Havlin guided the 120-rated son of Dubawi to an emphatic victory 12 months ago, when the 11-furlong contest was run over a mile and a quarter at its previous home of Lingfield Park.

Lord North wins the 2023 BetUK Winter Derby (credit: John Hoy)

Lord North went on to capture the Gr1 Dubai Turf for a third straight year on his only subsequent start, adding to his other top-level success in the 2020 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The Clarehaven Stables of John & Thady Gosden, chasing a fifth BetUK Winter Derby success in the space of six years, also saddle 2021 winner Forest Of Dean.

Havlin said: “We are pleased with Lord North. We think he is where he was this time last year before the Winter Derby – working slightly better than the year before, when he was second to Alenquer.

“Lord North is an eight-year-old now and takes a bit of getting fit, but he seems to be bright in himself. From a fitness perspective, he will improve as he always needs this first run to get all the lights switched on, but he is the class act and we are expecting a big run.

“He is quite an uncomplicated horse, as he relaxes into a race and it is up to you when to press the button. His optimum trip is probably nine furlongs given his record in the Dubai Turf, but he has run well over a mile and a half at the Breeders’ Cup.

“Saturday has the makings of an interesting race and you can make a case for all six runners. Military Order is a smart horse and Tyrrhenian Sea finished second last year, and both have the benefit of a recent run.”

As well as Forest Of Dean, Godolphin is represented by Military Order. Charlie Appleby’s four-year-old captured the Listed Derby Trial in May and returned to form last month as he went down by a head to Enemy in the BetUK Winter Derby Trial.

Last year’s runner-up Tyrrhenian Sea (Roger Varian), who has three and a quarter lengths to find with Lord North, arrives on the back of a swooping success in Lingfield Park’s BetUK Quebec Stakes.

Fellow Listed winner Eydon makes his first appearance for Andrew Balding, having been sidelined since a promising fourth in the 2022 Gr1 2000 Guineas.

Gr3 scorer Claymore completes the field for Jane Chapple-Hyam as he looks to improve on his sixth in the BetUK Winter Derby Trial.

Watch the Sky Sport Racing Winter Derby Preview:

Southwell’s eight-race programme also features the Listed BetUK Hever Sprint over five furlongs, in which Clarendon House heads a talented lineup.

Having broken the course record at Southwell in December, Robert Cowell’s six-year-old finished fourth in the Gr2 Blue Point Sprint at Meydan last month.

Irish raider Thunderbear (Jack Davison) concedes weight all round following his G3 success at Newbury in the autumn, while last season’s all-weather Sprint champion Diligent Harry (Clive Cox) has a 3lb penalty following his comeback win in the Listed BetUK Kachy Stakes.

Juan Les Pins (Mick Appleby) and Stewards’ Cup victor Aberama Gold (David O’Meara) are other contenders to note alongside Row Bowring’s impressive course and distance scorer Hiya Maite and 2022 victor One Night Stand (Scott Dixon).

Watch the Sky Sport Racing Hever Stakes Preview:

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