Grandeur is a red-hot favourite with the sponsors after 23 horses stood their ground at the confirmation stage for the coral.co.uk Winter Derby at Lingfield on Saturday.
Jeremy Noseda’s classy five-year-old is the 5-4 market leader for the �100,000 mile-and-a-quarter Group Three, with the Roger Varian-trained Farraaj next best at 6-1.
Already a dual Group Two winner in America, Grandeur won at Listed level in Britain for a second time when beating Modernstone in the Winter Derby Trial over this course and distance last month.
Modernstone, trained by William Knight, is in the field along with Tom Dascombe’s Anaconda and the Ed Vaughan-trained Robin Hoods Bay, who were third and fourth that day.
Dascombe said: “The intention is to run Anaconda. Luckily, for the first time ever, we haven’t had a setback since his run in the Winter Derby Trial, but there are still a few days to go. He ran a good race in the trial, but he is stepping up in class again so we will see how we go.”
The veteran Premio Loco, who was successful in 2012, is set to try again while there are several other smart sorts including Dick Doughtywylie, Graphic, Rebellious Guest and Godolphin’s Windhoek.
The sole Irish representative is Jim Bolger’s Parish Hall, who showed he still retains plenty of ability despite his problems when fourth in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown in September and winning the Group Three Diamond Stakes the following month.
Andrew Balding, however, looks set to reroute Highland Knight to an alternative event on the Lingfield card.
He said: “I’ve got Highland Knight in the Winter Derby and the mile race. He’ll probably go for the mile race. He ran at Wolverhampton the other day, he’ll come on for that, but he just needs one more run to qualify for Good Friday.”
Balding also had news of globetrotting stable star Side Glance. The Kingsclere handler said: “Side Glance is in good order and goes for the Dubai World Cup. There are 16 runners and 10 Group One winners in there, so it’s a proper World Cup.”
Coral spokesman David Stevens said: “Grandeur looked good when giving weight away in last month’s Winter Derby Trial, and has been backed from 9-4 down to his current odds for success in Saturday’s main event. Jeremy Noseda’s charge will be a warm order to win this ahead of a tilt at the �200,000 Coral Easter Classic on Good Friday.”Read the rest of the story British Horseracing Authority News Headlines