Forest Of Dean strikes in G3 Winter Derby
Forest Of Dean scored on his first G3 appearance with a brave display in the Winter Derby over a mile and a quarter at Lingfield Park, UK, on Saturday, 27 February.
The John Gosden-trained five-year-old, a close third in the Listed trial for the All-Weather highlight on his previous outing, broke well under Robert Havlin and soon settled in second of the five runners, a length behind Johnny Drama.
Forest Of Dean took closer order with half a mile to race and kicked on into a clear lead as the pace quickened two and a half furlongs out.
Felix and Father Of Jazz eroded Forest Of Dean’s advantage in the straight but neither could mount a serious challenge to the son of Iffraaj, who held on gamely to prevail by three-quarters of a length.
Robert Havlin said: “It was a small field and we knew that half of them were hold-up horses. The last day, I held on to Forest Of Dean in the straight because I didn’t know whether to kick on as it would open up the race for those behind me. I used the hill today, gave him a kick and he nicked a few lengths before hanging on.
“He is probably better on grass and it’s good that he has been putting up these nice performances on the All-Weather. He has been beaten a little less each time and now he has turned the form around.
“I suppose that he will have to come back here for the Easter Classic now. A mile and a quarter is his ideal distance, so we will be sticking to that sort of trip.”