Author: Derek Thompson

BRRRRR... it’s freezing cold here in the UK with temperatures down to minus 19, the coldest it has been for a decade, but the action out on the track has been red hot! Frankie Dettori flew in from a much warmer Bahrain and on his first ride in Britain this year, proceeded to ride the big winner at Lingfield on Saturday, Wissahickon, who romped away with the Winter Derby Trial. This was a very smart performance from the horse who had won the Cambridgeshire at Newmarket in September and he looks to have a bright future according to trainer John Gosden. “He’s improving with a good turn of foot so he’ll come back here in two weeks’ time for the Winter Derby itself,” said Gosden, and the bookmakers reacted by making him a red hot favourite!

Gosden and Dettori went on to complete a double when odds on shot Murray River won the 10f handicap. Arguably the best performance of the day was put up by Kachy who set a new track record for the flying 6f in the Listed Cleve Stakes, winning in a time of just over 1m:8s! Kachy, who is trained by Tom Dascombe at the beautiful stables owned by former England footballer Michael Owen in Cheshire and was ridden by his stable jockey, Richard Kingscote, will now return to Lingfield on Good Friday for the All- Weather Championship Sprint. William Buick was another jockey to fly in for a winner and shortly after landing at Stansted Airport from Dubai, won the first race at Chelmsford for Charlie Appleby on Orchid Star who justified favouritism in effortless style.

Buick, who had won the 10f turf handicap at Meydan two days earlier on Oasis Charm on his first day back after suspension, was complimentary about his mount Divine Image who ran so well after a sluggish start to run second to Silva in the UAE 1000 Guineas.“Considering it was her first run on the dirt track at Meydan and she missed the kick, she did very well to finish second and she should fare a lot better over the longer trip of the UAE Oaks next time out.” By the way, Oisin Murphy, who flew in from Japan to ride the 1000 Guineas winner, didn’t rest on his laurels, for he flew back to the UK and didn’t waste any time in making it into the winner’s enclosure at Lingfield. Ted Durcan, who, in his riding days was five times Champion Jockey in Dubai, is now making his presence felt as a bloodstock agent and bought the top lot at the Tattersalls February Sales in Newmarket.

Durcan paid 105,000gns for Magic Illusion, part of the annual Godolphin dispersal and he will now go into training with Satish Seemar in Dubai. He is by Dubawi and is a half-brother to Gold Town who was an easy winner of last year’s UAE 2000 Guineas. During the sales, I took the opportunity to pop up to Dalham Hall Stud to see Dubawi and also to see how Cracksman is settling in as he embarks on a new career as a much sought after stallion. He looks magnificent and with the new covering season about to get underway, it’s all systems go at this most beautiful of studs.

Weather cold but racing heating up