John and Thady Gosden's Lord North outclasses rivals in Winter Derby at Lingfield

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Winner of the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot three years ago, John and Thady Gosden's charge has since claimed back-to-back Group One victories on World Cup night at Meydan. The seven-year-old found Alenquer too strong in last year's Winter Derby, but went on to dead-heat with Japan's Panthalassa when defending his crown in Dubai and was back at Lingfield for his first appearance since being beaten just a length into fourth place in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown in July. Despite the lengthy absence, Lord North was the 8-11 favourite to make a successful comeback and could be called the winner a long way from home. As his front-running stablemate Harrovian weakened, it was left for Lord North to reel in Tyrrhenian Sea in the straight and he did so with ease before pulling three and a quarter lengths clear in the hands of Robert Havlin. "His work's been a lot brighter and I think that was a better performance, even if the race didn't have the depth of last year," the winning rider told Sky Sports Racing. "He was a bit laboured through the last furlong and a half last year, but today I was always comfortable he was going to pick up. "The track doesn't really suit him or play to his strengths. He's better on galloping tracks coming off a strong pace, but his class shone through and he was showing us that (at home) - it's like he's back to being a four or five-year-old. "Hopefully we can get back on song and win it (Dubai Turf) outright this year." Joint-trainer Thady Gosden was in Riyadh to see Mostahdaf register an impressive victory on the Saudi Cup undercard and was thrilled to see Lord North also strike gold. He said: "It's a nice double! As you saw, he was midway in the field and he came round the bend and picked up really well. "He has had a long time off the track, so was obviously a bit rusty, but he was given a great ride by Rab under hands and heels. He never panicked and showed that good turn of foot that we know he has. "He has won the Dubai Turf twice and hopefully he can use this as a springboard to that, even though there is a month to go. As long as he comes out of the race well, we have a smooth run into that." Kimngrace (12-1) benefited from a cool ride from George Rooke to secure Listed honours in the BetUK Hever Sprint Stakes. Making her first appearance since finishing sixth on the turf at Doncaster in the autumn, the Richard Hughes-trained filly was well back in the field rounding the final bend but flew home on the outside of runners to deny 100-30 favourite Tone The Barone by half a length. Hughes said: "I have a race in mind for her at Deauville in April over five and a half furlongs and I needed to get a run into her if we're going over there on soft ground. "I could have run her in a handicap or a Listed race and I said we might as well have two bites of the cherry to try and get black type. To go and win it was brilliant. "I said to George to hang on to the their tails as she's not quite quick enough for five furlongs round here. He did exactly as I told him and he was a very brave, which is brilliant as he works hard."

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