John Gosden continued his great winter run, adding the Betway Winter Derby to his Saudi Cup triumph when Forest Of Dean executed his trainer’s “ Plan B ” to perfection under a notebook from Robert Havlin at Lingfield.
Gosden had told Havlin that Plan A was to race in the group three contest – but when Johnny Drama beat him to that punch, the jockey came back in the background, making his move down the hill. and taking two valuable lengths out of the field.
Felix and Father Of Jazz tried to close the gap but ran out of real estate as Forest Of Dean (100-30) stood at three-quarters of a length and length.
Gosden said: “He’s definitely on an upward curve and Rab rode him beautifully. When he got to the top of the hill he said ‘I’m going to fly this’ and rolled it around.
“He’s a brave little horse who has been out for over 400 days after struggling after his race at Newbury. I think the one-and-a-quarter mile Easter Classic (the day of the All Weather Championships final ) could be more of his stage than the Lincoln. “
The Clarehaven coach had news from Mishriff, who has surprised him since returning from Arabia.
He added: “Mishriff is in first order. He came back on Monday and had a lead on Wednesday, but he was so fresh Wednesday, shouting and playing, that I had to give him two gallops at Warren Hill this morning.
“I spoke to Prince Faisal and we agreed to leave him at least 10 days before making a plan for him.”