Grendisar (black cap): landed the Winter Derby at Lingfield last time outPICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
Grendisar out to emulate
Tryster in Easter Classic
WINTER DERBY hero Grendisar bids to follow the same path as last year's winner Tryster when attempting to add the £200,000 Easter Classic to his Group 3 success last time.
Tryster left a lasting impression when accelerating from last to first in this race last year but with the reigning champ chasing big-race riches at Meydan on Saturday, Grendisar is very much the one to beat.
A popular performer on the all-weather, Grednisar, at the age of six, has flourished this year and posted a career-best performance when going one better than last year in the Winter Derby.
Whereas once Grendisar had to be ridden for luck under exaggerated waiting tactics, both his trainer Marco Botti and jockey Adam Kirby have expressed the opinion that Grendisar is a reformed character this season and can ridden with more versatility in his races, surely a plus from his starting position in stall two.
"He's in the form of his life," said Botti. "His last two runs have been impressive and he's in the same form. I'm delighted with his draw in two. Recently we've been riding a little closer to the pace and he seems more straight-forward in his races.
"We don't want to be too far back if it's a slow pace and we have options from that draw. Adam gets on very well with the horse and I will leave it to him. He gives his best at Lingfield and I'm looking forward to it."
Complicit has more to do on figures but did split Tryster and Grendisar when finishing second in this race last year.
Fran Berry has his first ride in Britain since taking on the role of stable jockey to trainer Ralph Beckett, although it comes for trainer Mark Johnston aboard Fire Fighting, a horse Berry was successful aboard at Dundalk in October.