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2022 Betway Winter Derby Stakes Betting Trends, Runner Guide and Betting Tips

Gavin Beech for Bookies.com

Gavin Beech  | 7 mins

2022 Betway Winter Derby Stakes Betting Trends, Runner Guide and Betting Tips

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2022 Betway Winter Derby Stakes

The Betway Winter Derby is one of the most prestigious horse racing contests run on an artificial surface in Britain and the first domestic group race run each calendar year.

Established in 1998 and run at Lingfield each February, the ten-furlong contest was upgraded from Listed to Group 3 status in 2006 and regularly attracts horses that go on to make a mark at a higher level on turf.

The Winter Derby is open to horses aged four or older, but no horse has won this prestigious all-weather contest more than once.

The 2022 edition is the classiest edition so far, with dual Group 1-winner Lord North aiming to provide Newmarket trainer John Gosden with a fourth consecutive success in the race.

2022 Betway Winter Derby - Big Race Details

  • Date: Saturday, February 26th
  • Course: Lingfield
  • Status: Group 3
  • Distance: 1m2f
  • Age: 4yo+
  • Prize fund: £110,000 (£62,381 to the winner)
  • Live on: ITV and Sky Sports Racing at 2.05pm

2022 Betway Winter Derby Stakes - Key Ten-Year-Trends

  • Age range: Eight of the last ten winners were aged 4-6.
  • Class act: Every winner in the last decade had already won a race a Class 2 level or higher.
  • Market prominence key: Eight of the last ten winners were sent off 11/2 or shorter.
  • Ratings barrier: The last ten Winter Derby winners held an official rating north of 100.
  • Recent form: They had all won at least one of their last five starts.
  • Proven on the all-weather: All ten had already won on an artificial surface, while eight of the last ten had won at Lingfield.
  • Newmarket dominance: Every winner in the last decade was trained in Newmarket.
  • Penalty notice: Only Premio Loco has won this race in the last decade carrying a penalty. The other nine winners all carried 9st.

2022 Betway Winter Derby Stakes - Main Contenders

There is only one place to start when it comes to 2022 Winter Derby contenders and that is with dual Group 1 turf winner Lord North, who holds outstanding claims on the figures.

With an official rating of 123, Lord North is the classiest horse to have ever run in the Lingfield showpiece and it doesn’t take much imagination to see him going off an odds-on chance come Saturday.

However, there are one or two potential issues for Lord North’s backers, not least that the 6-year-old hasn’t been seen on a racecourse since winning the 2021 Dubai Turf at Meydan by three lengths.

Lord North had the option of going to the $1.5 million (£1,110,000) Group 3 Neom Cup in Riyadh but John and Thaady Gosden have decided that the Lingfield race, despite its significantly lower prize money, is the best prep run for a return to Meydan where he will defend that Dubai Turf crown.

The son of Dubawi is an all-weather winner, albeit on Tapeta at Newcastle, and his trainer has dominated this race in recent times but he's a horse that can be keen in his races and, if they don’t go very hard early, there is the potential for him to be quite gassy after such a long break.

If that happens, he’ll do well to run to anything like his rating and under those circumstances, he could easily get beat despite his apparent class edge.

The highly-regarded Alenquer has the potential to rate higher than 115 as a 4-year-old and he’s a big danger to Lord North providing this doesn’t turn into a sprint.

Alenquer stays a mile-and-a-half well so it’s unlikely he’ll have the gears to win a ten-furlong race on a speed-favouring track like Lingfield unless they go an even gallop but class-wise, he’s a big threat to Lord North.

The issue for Alenquer backers is that he has never won a race on an artificial surface, something the last ten winners of this race have done.

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Fancy Man** is the other key contender despite being rated a full stone behind Lord North. The Richard Hannon-trained 4-year-old beat Alenquer by over three lengths when the pair met in a Listed race at Haydock in 2020 and he has a lot less to prove under these conditions than that rival or indeed, the favourite.

Fancy Man was a ready winner of the Winter Derby Trial over course and distance in February, where he had the likes of King Of The South and Al Zaraqaan behind despite racing keenly in the early stages.

Connections have clearly targeted this race from a long way out and Fancy Man will be less inconvenienced than one or two of his higher-profile rivals should they go steady early on because he’s a horse that can go forward if the early gallop is steady.

Forest Of Dean is the reigning Winter Derby champion but this looks like a much stronger renewal. Forest Of Dean was given a canny ride 12 months ago by Robert Havlin, who stole a march on his rivals when he galvanised his mount to quicken clear going into the home turn and he was able to hold on from the 107-rated Felix.

The Godolphin-owned colt came into the race at the top of his game last year but he's got a lot more to prove this time around having not been seen since finishing down the field in a Listed race at Royal Ascot in June. It is no surprise that Robert Havlin prefers stablemate Lord North.

2022 Betway Winter Derby Stakes - Betting Tips

The standard is particularly high this year and Group 1 performer Lord North is very difficult to oppose given he is higher-rated than the three John Gosden horses that have won this race in recent times.

He has the luxury of being able to run a good few pounds below his best and still win this Group 3 but there is a chance he’ll be a bit fizzy on his first run in 11 months, especially if they go steady, and Lingfield isn’t an ideal track for a horse that is at his best coming off a strong gallop. This just might not set up ideally for him.

With that in mind, it might be worth taking him on with FANCY MAN who has no fitness worries, has already run to a high level under these conditions and is likely to be capable of better still this season.

Trends devotees will point to the fact that he isn’t trained in Newmarket, like the ten previous winners of this race, but Richard Hannon Snr did win the race with Scintillo in 2009.

If the dead eight stand their ground, he rates a strong each-way play.

Current bookmakers odds - 5/4 Lord North, 3 Alenquer, 4 Fancy Man, 8 Forest Of Dean, 20 Al Zaraqaan, 25 Rose Of Kildare, King Of The South, 50 Pistoletto, 100 Barn Owl.

2022 Betway Winter Derby Stakes - Last Ten Winners

  • 2021 Forest Of Dean (100/30) Trainer: John Gosden, Jockey: Robert Havlin
  • 2020 Dubai Warrior (13/8) Trainer: John Gosden, Jockey: Frankie Dettori
  • 2019 Wissahickon (1/4) Trainer: John Gosden, Jockey: Frankie Dettori
  • 2018 Master The World (16/1) Trainer: David Elsworth, Jockey: Sean Levey
  • 2017 Convey (11/2) Trainer: Sir Michael Stoute, Jockey: Andrea Atzeni
  • 2016 Grendisar (11/4) Trainer: Marco Botti, Jockey: Adam Kirby
  • 2015 Tryster (3/1) Trainer: Charlie Appleby, Jockey: Adam Kirby
  • 2014 Robin Hoods Bay (10/1) Trainer: Ed Vaughan, Jockey: Luke Morris
  • 2013 Farraaj (6/4) Trainer: Roger Varian, Jockey: Andrea Atzeni
  • 2012 Premio Loco (5/1) Trainer: Chris Wall, Jockey: George Baker

About the Author

Gavin Beech for Bookies.com
Gavin Beech
Gavin Beech has worked in the betting industry for almost 20 years and is an experienced sports betting writer and tipster. He has worked for MailOnline and the Racing Post.