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Horse Racing - Racing: Lord North ready for Lingfield return

John and Thady Gosden's multiple Group 1-winning star Lord North is set for his long-awaited reappearance on Saturday in Lingfield's Winter Derby worth £110,000.

The six-year-old has been off the track since a comfortable Group 1 success in the Dubai Turf at Meydan last March and is the short-priced 10/11 favourite to make a winning return despite a 336-day layoff.

Plenty of backers for Lord North

The market confidence is perhaps not surprising given that Lord North is the highest-rated runner in Winter Derby history with an official rating of 123 and his trainer's recent record in the 1m2f Group 3 contest.

John Gosden has saddled the last three winners including Forest Of Dean, who will aim to defend his crown and become the first two-time winner of the race, although all eyes will be on Lord North, who makes his first start on the all-weather since 2019.

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Halvin back in the saddle

Rab Havlin was on board that day as Lord North took a two-runner novice event at Newcastle at odds of 1/6 and the jockey will again take the ride as he looks to extend the globetrotting gelding's unbeaten record on the all-weather ahead of bigger targets around the world for the rest of the year, with a trip to Dubai on the agenda next month.

Lord North won on his first start of the year in both 2020 and 2021 and Havlin is looking forward to being reunited with the odds-on shot.

The jockey said: "Lord North has been working like he's always worked. He's been on the grass on Waterhall a couple of times and showed the old spark was there and we're hoping for a big run."

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