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Dubai Warrior eases to Betway Winter Derby victory for John Gosden and Frankie Dettori

The John Gosden-trained Dubai Warrior stamped his class on the opposition with a pillar to post success under Frankie Dettori in the feature £100,000 Betway Winter Derby on Saturday.

The 10-furlong Polytrack contest at Lingfield Park looked a match race on paper, with the champion trainer’s Dubai Warrior sent off a 13/8 chance behind 8/13 favourite Bangkok – trained by Andrew Balding and ridden by HQ jockey Silvestre de Sousa.

As it was, Gosden’s four-year-old held a clear lead from the outset and while both Bangkok and stable-mate Court House moved to within striking distance at the three-long pole, neither had any response once Dettori had asked Dubai Warrior to lengthen.

Frankie Dettori, Dubai Warrior, February 2020 (30010428)
Frankie Dettori, Dubai Warrior, February 2020 (30010428)

The victory has guaranteed the son of Dansili a place in the All Weather Finals Day £200,000 Betway Easter Classic on Good Friday, when he will be bidding to become the fourth horse to win both races in the same season.

Clarehaven Stables’ Gosden said: “Dubai Warrior ran a lovely race. I said to Frankie that if he breaks well, just let him use his big stride as there is no point getting caught in a slowly run race around here and then trying to dash.

"I think Dubai Warrior showed a lot of class there, although I don’t think the favourite had the run of the race. He was a touch keener than Silvestre would have wanted.

“Dubai Warrior will head for the Easter Classic next. The plan was always the Quebec, then try to win this before going on to Good Friday. It is a wonderful programme here and I am a supporter of it.

“Dubai Warrior is a horse who will not want soft or loose ground on turf. He likes to put his foot down and know where it is.”

Meanwhile, Dettori – riding in Britain for the first time this year – added: “I tried not to burn too much petrol in the beginning.

“I was looking for Silvestre, but I could feel some daylight and I knew Dubai Warrior would finish the race very strongly.”