John Gosden's Wissahickon could contest the Dubai Sheema Classic following victory in the Betway Winter Derby at Lingfield Park
Newmarket trainer John Gosden has revealed a trip to Dubai could be on the agenda for Wissahickon following his victory in the Group 3 Betway Winter Derby at Lingfield Park on Saturday.
The four-year-old Tapit colt gained a third straight win over 10 furlongs at the Surrey track when very readily beating stable-mate Court House by three-and-a-quarter lengths, adding to his Listed successes in the Betway Quebec Stakes and Betway Winter Derby Trial.
The odds-on favourite was held in fourth of the seven runners by Frankie Dettori behind Court House, Big Country and early leader Hathal.
He quickened around runners turning for home and went to the front from Court House, entering the straight before forging clear to score easily in a time of two minutes and 1.28 seconds.
It was a second Fast-Track Qualifier victory for Wissahickon, who had already guaranteed his free place in the £200,000 Betway Easter Classic over the same course and distance on Good Friday, by winning the Betway Winter Derby Trial on February 2.
That outing is in the forefront of Gosden’s thinking, but he is also looking at a potential Group 1 assignment in the Middle East.
“Normally, we don’t run that many on the All-Weather but, after Wissahickon won the Cambridgeshire, Mr Strawbridge (owner/breeder George Strawbridge) was keen to stay here and go for the Winter Derby, and the plan has come off,” said Gosden, who had never previously trained a winner of the race.
“Obviously, there is big race here on Good Friday and we will see whether we freshen him up and wait for that, which would be the logical thing to do.
“We might look at the Dubai Sheema Classic, if there was an invitation to run in the race. I think he is a mile and a quarter to a mile and a half horse – the mother stayed and he switches off in his races now, while quick, summer ground would be his game.
“He used to be a typical Tapit – always on it, wanting to go, go, go and type of horse that probably didn’t want to listen or knew the word relax.
“But he has learned to switch off now and is a pretty chilled customer with a good turn of foot.”
Meanwhile, on Court House, Gosden added: “He stays well and has won over a mile and a half here, so that was short enough for him and he has run a lovely race.
“We will also have a look at Good Friday for him.”