Seven horses go to post at Chelmsford City on Thursday, March 2, in the £20,000 totepoolliveinfo.com Visit For Racing Results Conditions Stakes (7.25pm).
The two-mile Polytrack contest is a Fast-Track Qualifier for the £150,000 Betway Marathon over the same distance and surface at Lingfield Park on All-Weather Championships Finals Day, Good Friday, April 14, with the winner on Thursday gaining a free and guaranteed place.
The top-rated performer is Godolphin’s Winning Story (Saeed bin Suroor/Oisin Murphy). The four-year-old son of New Approach has already secured his place on Finals Day, having landed a Fast-Track Qualifier at Newcastle on December 21.
Archie Watson has made a fine start to his training career since taking out a licence in 2016 and saddled five All-Weather winners so far in 2017, with a strike-rate of 23 per cent. His representative on Thursday is Calvinist (David Probert), who was fifth on his first start for Watson in a handicap over an extended two miles on Tapeta at Wolverhampton on February 15.
The four-year-old son of Holy Roman Emperor was a progressive performer for his previous trainer Brian Meehan in 2016, ending the year by landing a valuable Class 2 handicap over 14 furlongs at York in October.
Upper Lamborun-based Watson said today: “It was Calvinist’s first start for us at Wolverhampton last time.
“I thought he ran a good race but he didn’t have much luck in running in the straight.
“He has got to qualify for Good Friday, so we need to get three runs into him. He looks like a progressive stayer and is a horse that we like.”
Watersmeet (Mark Johnston/Joe Fanning pictured) and Calling Out (David Simcock/Jamie Spencer) were separated by two lengths when first and second respectively in a mile and a half conditions race over 12 furlongs at Lingfield Park on February 17. The pair are both set to start over two miles for the first time in the totepoolliveinfo.com Visit For Racing Results Conditions Stakes.
Fourth in the same race was Retrieve (Jamie Osborne/Adam Kirby), who was G1-placed in Australia and a Listed winner over hurdles. Retrieve was last seen out when comfortably landing a claimer over an extended nine furlongs on Wolverhampton’s Tapeta surface on February 23.
There is an Irish challenger in Pique Sous (Willie Mullins/Ryan Moore), who has been lightly-raced since landing the marathon Queen Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2014. The 10-year-old made his first start for eight months when 10th, beaten six lengths, in a mile and a half handicap at Dundalk on February 17.
Completing the line-up in the totepoolliveinfo.com Visit For Racing Results Conditions Stakes is Pearl Castle (Karl Burke/Clifford Lee), a winner on the Flat and over hurdles but not seen out since May, 2016.
Chelmsford City’s eight-race on Thursday gets underway at 5.20pm and runs through to 8.55pm.
Watson also had an update on Absolute Blast, who ran a fine race on February 25 when a close third in the G3 Betway Winter Derby at Lingfield Park.
Watson continued: “Absolute Blast has come out of the Winter Derby very well.
“I am sure we will probably end up with her back at Lingfield in the Easter Classic on Finals Day. She will better off at the weights on Good Friday, as she will be getting a couple of pounds from the colts, so you wouldn’t mind taking them on again.”