All-Weather Mile Championships winner Captain Cat (9st 8lb) is on a retrieval mission in the £19,000 sunbets.co.uk Handicap (2pm) at Lingfield Park on Saturday, November 12.
The seven-year-old joined Worcestershire handler Tony Carroll in the summer following an excellent career for Roger Charlton that included a pair of Group Three victories on turf as well as G1 appearances at Ascot, Newbury and Hong Kong to add to his success on the inaugural All-Weather Championships Finals Day in 2014.
He was second in a Windsor Listed contest on his final appearance for Charlton, but failed to run any sort of race for his new trainer when tailed off in a 10-furlong handicap at Salisbury on September 28.
Carroll commented: “Captain Cat is likely to run at Lingfield Park on Saturday. We entered him in the Betway Churchill Stakes but he will go for the handicap option over a mile.
“He has settled in fine but his first run for me was a disaster. Nothing came to light from it and I am probably hanging on to the fact that the ground was quite soft that day. I hope I’m right!
“Captain Cat moves around like a nice horse but the very good ones like him save it for the track. The reason he came to me was to go jumping and we thought that we would give him a run at Salisbury to see if he stayed but he never got going.
“He has schooled well over hurdles but I want to get a run into him beforehand and there are also plenty of good races on the All-Weather over the winter.”
A total of 19 entries for the sunbets.co.uk Handicap also includes the 2015 All-Weather Mile Championships winner Grey Mirage (8st 12lb, Marco Botti) and Sea Of Flames (9st 1lb, David Elsworth), who took the 32Red All-Weather Three-Year-Old Mile on Finals Day earlier this year.
Castle Harbour (9st 8lb, John Gosden) was sixth in the G3 Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot in June, while Alfred Hutchinson (9st 1lb, David O’Meara) and Lunar Deity (9st 4lb, Stuart Williams) have each scored six times on the All-Weather.
Last year’s Easter Classic hero Grendisar (Marco Botti) heads 21 entries for £45,000 Betway Churchill Stakes (2.35pm) over 10 furlongs, which is a Fast-Track Qualifier for the £200,000 Betway Easter Classic on All-Weather Championships Finals Day, Good Friday, April 14, 2017.
Yorker (William Haggas) is a three-time G1 winner in South Africa and has shaped well in three starts in Europe in 2016, while Energia Davos (Jane Chapple-Hyam) and Educate (Ismael Mohammed) finished first and second respectively in the Listed James Seymour Stakes on turf at Newmarket on October 29.
There are 22 entries for the £40,000 Betway Golden Rose Stakes (1.25pm) over six furlongs, the winner of which will be guaranteed a free place in the £150,000 Betway All-Weather Sprint Championships on Finals Day.
Among the possible starters are G3 winner Tasleet (William Haggas) as well as Lord Of The Land (David O’Meara), who created a very favourable impression when winning the seven-furlong sunbets.co.uk Handicap at Lingfield Park on October 27, and Outback Traveller (Robert Cowell), who landed the ultra-competitive Wokingham Handicap at Royal Ascot.
An intriguing entry is Irish-trained Blue de Vega (Michael O’Callaghan), who came home third in the G1 Irish 2,000 Guineas earlier in the season.
Saturday’s seven-race programme at Lingfield Park gets underway at 12.15pm and concludes at 3.45pm.