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Gosden Strikes For A Third Winter Derby

Godolphin’s Forest of Dean (GB) (Iffraaj {GB}) had finished adrift of Marco Botti trainee Felix (GB) (Lope de Vega {Ire}) in both starts this term and stepped forward to exact revenge on that familiar foe in Saturday’s G3 Betway Winter Derby Trial at Lingfield, providing John Gosden with a record-breaking third renewal of the fledgling 10-furlong test. Successful in four of seven starts in 2019, he was under wraps until running third in a Jan. 11 Wolverhampton conditions heat on belated return before filling the same spot in the Feb. 6 Listed Winter Derby Trial over course and distance last time. The 10-3 third favourite accepted a tow from Johnny Drama (Ire) (Lilbourne Lad {Ire}) through halfway. Bounding to the front soon after passing the three-furlong marker, he poached a decisive lead off the home turn and kept on strongly under late urging to hold the late thrust of Felix by 3/4-of-a-length.

“He’s definitely on an upward curve and Rab [Havlin] rode him beautifully,” the winning trainer said. “When he got to the top of the hill he said ‘I’m gonna steal this’ and kept him rolling. He’s a brave little horse who was off for over 400 days after having problems following his run at Newbury [in Sept. 2019]. I think the [Apr. 2] Easter Classic over a mile-and-a-quarter [on All-Weather Championships Finals Day] might be more his scene than the [one-mile] Lincoln.”

Pedigree Notes

Forest of Dean is the fourth of eight foals produced by the dual stakes-placed Forest Crown (GB) (Royal Applause {GB}) and the March-foaled bay is a half-brother to G2 Prix de Sandringham second Golden Crown (GB) (Siyouni {Fr}) and G3 Athasi S. third Rionach (GB) (Sea the Stars {Ire}). From a family featuring GISW sire Storm Cat (Storm Bird) and dual Group 1 winner Reckless Abandon (GB) (Exchange Rate), he is also kin to a yearling colt by Wootton Bassett (GB) and a weanling colt by Lope de Vega {Ire}). His dam is a half-sister to G1 Racing Post Trophy-winning sire Crowded House (GB) (Rainbow Quest) and to the dam of MGISW distaffer Ticker Tape (GB) (Royal Applause {GB}) and G1 Prix Maurice de Gheest hero Brando (GB) (Pivotal {GB}).

Saturday, Lingfield, Britain
BETWAY WINTER DERBY S.-G3, £55,000, Lingfield, 2-27, 4yo/up, 10f (AWT), 2:04.92, st.
1–FOREST OF DEAN (GB), 126, g, 5, by Iffraaj (GB)
1st Dam: Forest Crown (GB) (MSP-Eng),
                                by Royal Applause (GB)
2nd Dam: Wiener Wald, by Woodman
3rd Dam: Chapel of Dreams, by Northern Dancer
1ST BLACK-TYPE WIN; 1ST GROUP WIN. (450,000gns Ylg ’17
TATOCT). O-Godolphin; B-Car Colston Hall Stud (GB); T-John
Gosden; J-Robert Havlin. £30,811. Lifetime Record: 13-5-2-2,
$ 180,038. *1/2 to Golden Crown (GB) (Siyouni {Fr}), GSP-Fr;
and Rionach (GB) (Sea the Stars {Ire}), GSP-Ire. Werk Nick
   Rating: A. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Felix (GB), 126, g, 5, Lope de Vega (Ire)–Luminance (Ire), by
Danehill Dancer (Ire). (32,000gns RNA Ylg ’17 TAOCT;
24,000gns 3yo ’19 TATAHI). O-K Sohi & Partner; B-Fittocks Stud
(GB); T-Marco Botti. £11,732.
3–Father of Jazz (GB), 126, c, 4, Kingman (GB)–Bark (Ire), by
Galileo (Ire). O-W J & T C O Gredley; B-Stetchworth & Middle
Park Studs Ltd (GB); T-Roger Varian. £5,874.
Margins: 3/4, 1, 1 1/4. Odds: 3.33, 3.00, 1.50.
Also Ran: Power of States (Ire), Johnny Drama (Ire). Click for the Racing Post result or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. Video, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

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