Lord North Treads A Familiar Path

Lord North John Hoy

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It is the G3 Winter Derby, so it must be time for the return from hibernation of the Clarehaven stalwart and late-winter specialist Lord North (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}). Gearing up for his attempt at a fourth consecutive G1 Dubai Turf, the 8-year-old will be reunited with Robert Havlin who has partnered him in the last two editions of this prize formerly staged over 10 furlongs at Lingfield. Now at Southwell with an extra furlong added on, it will represent a different test for the high-class veteran whose probable limit is a mile and a quarter.

“We think he is where he was this time last year before the Winter Derby–working slightly better than the year before, when he was second to Alenquer,” Havlin said. “Lord North is an eight-year-old now and takes a bit of getting fit, but he seems to be bright in himself. From a fitness perspective, he will improve as he always needs this first run to get all the lights switched on, but he is the class act and we are expecting a big run.”

“He is quite an uncomplicated horse, as he relaxes into a race and it is up to you when to press the button. His optimum trip is probably nine furlongs given his record in the Dubai Turf, but he has run well over a mile and a half at the Breeders' Cup.”

While Godolphin's Listed Lingfield Derby Trial winner Military Order (Ire) (Frankel {GB}) failed to go on after that promising performance last May, the now-gelded full-brother to Adayar (Ire) showed form strong enough to be a major player here when second in the course-and-distance Winter Derby Trial Conditions S. in January. Possibly more attuned to the greater stamina test than Lord North, he represents a worthy rival alongside Prince Faisal's long-absent Eydon (Ire) (Olden Times {GB}) who is seen for the first time since finishing fourth in the 2022 G1 2000 Guineas.

“Military Order has definitely come forward since his last start,” trainer Charlie Appleby said. “He ticks a couple of boxes in that he has run well already this year over the track and trip. He should be a big player based on the pick of his three-year-old form and what he achieved in the trial.”

Ted Voute, racing manager to Prince Faisal, said of Eydon, “Andrew [Balding] has been pleased with him and was pleased with his gallop at Kempton. It's a pretty even field and they are all rated around the same figures apart from Lord North and we will see.”

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