Rising star Wissahickon headlines seven runners in the feature £100,000 G3 Betway Winter Derby (3.15pm) at Lingfield Park this Saturday.
The 10-furlong Polytrack contest is the final Fast-Track Qualifier of the Middle-Distance category in the All-Weather Championships, with the winner receiving a free and automatic place in the £200,000 Betway Easter Classic over the same course and distance on Good Friday, April 19.
Wissahickon (John Gosden/Frankie Dettori), the 1/3 favourite with Betway, is chasing a three-timer at Lingfield Park following impressive Listed victories in the Betway Quebec Stakes on December 22 and Betway Winter Derby Trial on February 2, both over 10 furlongs.
The 117-rated four-year-old is aiming to become the sixth horse to complete the Betway Winter Derby Trial/Betway Winter Derby double following Zanay (2000), Adiemus (2002), Parasol (2003), Eccentric (2005) and Grendisar (2016).
Wissahickon winning the Betway Winter Derby Trial
Last year's Betway Winter Derby hero Master The World (David Elsworth/Sean Levey, 8/1 with Betway) has the chance to become the first dual winner of the race. The eight-year-old has not been seen out since defeating Big Country by a neck in the Listed Betway Churchill Stakes the over course and distance on November 17.
Master The World (left) winning the 2018 Betway Winter Derby, pictures All Weather Championships
Big Country (Mick Appleby/Luke Morris, 9/1) and Wissahickon's stablemate Court House (William Buick, 14/1), who finished second and third in the Betway Winter Derby Trial, also line up.
Hathal (Jamie Osborne/Nicola Currie, 10/1), thrice placed at G2 level in 2017 for William Haggas, comes into the race on the back of two conditions race victories on Tapeta at Wolverhampton, the most recent of which came over an extended mile on February 4.
Newmarket trainer Charlie Fellowes is hoping Chiefofchiefs (David Probert, 33/1) can improve on his fourth, when beaten five lengths, in the Betway Winter Derby Trial. The six-year-old captured a mile handicap in good style on his penultimate start at Kempton Park on January 4.
Fellowes said: "Chiefofchiefs ran very well last time in the trial and was not beaten far in fourth.
"It is sod's law that we have chosen to target the Betway Winter Derby this year because it is a very hot race.
"Wissahickon is not going to be beaten unless he falls over. We are going there to try and finish in the first three, which Chiefofchiefs is more than capable of doing.
"The Lincoln [Doncaster, March 30] is his main aim and I wanted to get a run into him between the Winter Derby Trial and the Lincoln, so this works perfectly."
Pactolus (Stuart Williams/Callum Rodriguez, 40/1) is a 12-time winner on the All-Weather and posted career-best on his latest start when landing a 10-furlong class two handicap at Lingfield Park on January 23.
Betway Winter Derby, Betway bet:
1/3 Wissahickon; 8/1 Master The World; 9/1 Big Country; 10/1 Hathal; 14/1 Court House; 33/1 Chiefofchiefs; 40/1 Pactolus
Each-Way 1/4 odds - 1, 2
The action at Lingfield Park also includes the £45,000 Listed Betway Hever Sprint (2.05pm, six runners) over five furlongs. A short-head separated Gracious John (David Evans/Eoin Walsh) and Encore D'Or (Robert Cowell/Luke Morris) in this race 12 months ago and the pair line up again.
Archie Watson is doubly represented by Corinthia Knight (Edward Greatrex), winner of the Ladbrokes 3-Year-Old All-Weather Championship on Good Friday last year, and Listed Betway Cleves Stakes runner-up Gorgeous Noora (Hollie Doyle).
Betway Hever Sprint, Betway bet:
2/1 Encore D'Or; 100/30 Corinthia Knight; 7/2 Gorgeous Noora; 11/2 Gracious John; 7/1 Royal Birth; 10/1 Ornate
Each-Way ¼ odds - 1, 2