|Tuesday 8th January 2019|
The Betway Winter Derby 2019 Field is Taking Shape
The snow may be falling but that does not look like affecting the on-course action in the UK throughout February.
In the second month of the year we such delights as the Irish Gold Cup, Irish Champion Hurdle, and of course the Betway Winter Derby in a packed fixture list of horse racing delights.
The Winter Derby is an important race on the British racing calendar as it often the country’s first group race of the year and is the perfect way for owners to kickstart their year.
Run at Lingfield Park in Surrey and raced over 1 mile and 2 furlongs, the race is run on a Polytrack surface which is a mixture of silica sand, recycled fabrics, and recycled rubber meaning the surface is weather proof.
Since its inauguration in 1998, the race has never had to be postponed despite regularly having to contend with harsh weather conditions and has remarkably never had a repeat winner in its 21-year-history.
However, no fewer than four jockeys have won the race twice including three-time Champion jockey Frankie Dettori.
Controversy reigned in 2018 as first place finisher Mr Owen was demoted to second following a stewards inquiry which claimed the winner had caused ‘interference’ to second place ‘Master the World’ who was later awarded the victory.
2019 Winter Derby
Heading into 2019, American horse Wissahickon is the ante-post favourite at 1/1 with Betway as of 30/01/19.
Trained by J H M Gosden and owned by Mr George Strawbridge, the four-year-old colt has won at Lingfield as recently as December when he took victory over 10 furlongs.
The Evens price looks well deserved as Wissahickon has claimed six victories in his last eight races including his last three in a row.
However, Hunting Horn will be hot on his heels chasing him down and hoping for some of his native Irish luck.
Five top three finishes in six flat races suggests this four-year-old colt has enough about him to challenge the heavy favourite Wissahickon and trainer A P O'Brien will be eager to get the Bay Colt back on the winner’s rostrum.
At 7/2, he offers some significant value and will be the tip for many punters seeking some additional potential value from the proposed 26 strong field.
Last year’s default winner Master the World is back in the action but will need to break the history books in order to win.
As mentioned above, there has never been a repeat winner of the Winter Derby and it looks unlikely Master of the World is set to change that.
Now 8-years-old, the Irish horse trained by D R C Elsworth may well have won on its last outing at Lingfield back in November but has only claimed seven flat wins in a lengthy career spanning 56 races.
At 10/1, it appears the bookmakers agree that another Winter Derby win is a relatively long shot (although not impossible) for Master the World and much like ensuring you take every possible advantage when it comes to hitting the casino, heeding the horse betting tipsters advice and watching the odds can stand you in good stead when it comes to backing a winner or staying away from a dud.
Whereas Master the World is not one of our top tips, Matterhorn certainly is.
Trained by M Johnston, this four-year-old has had an impressive (if yet short) flat career with four wins from six starts to his name.
Already in 2019 Matterhorn has taken victory over 10 furlongs at Lingfield in a field of six.
That was during the Betway Handicap as Matterhorn beat Mythical Madness and Lexington Law to the winner’s post.
Matterhorn comes in at 20/1 to win the Winter Derby and although question marks remain over his ability in a packed field, the speed is certainly there to cause an upset.
The Best of the Rest
Boynton comes in as third favourite to win the race at 5/1 and cannot be dismissed.
The American five-year-old is part of the Godolphin stable but only raced twice last year meaning he may be a little rusty.
His one experience at Lingfield came in 2017 when he finished seventh in a field of nine, but the colt has since tasted victory since then and is worth considering.
Big Country at 8/1 is worth a look with six flat wins to his name from 21 runs. Two second places at Lingfield in 2018 make him a tempting prospect at least for an each-way punt.
The action gets underway on Saturday the 23rd February.