The Archie Watson-trained Corinthia Knight heads seven runners for the £30,000 32Red Casino Race (3.45pm) over five furlongs at Newcastle on Wednesday, February 21.
The Tapeta contest is a Fast-Track Qualifier, with the winner guaranteed a free start in the £150,000 32Red 3-Year-Old All-Weather Championships Conditions Stakes over six furlongs on Polytrack at Lingfield Park on All-Weather Championships Finals Day, Good Friday, March 30.
Corinthia Knight (Archie Watson/Edward Greatrex) has won four of his six starts on the All-Weather and last time out recorded a comfortable length and a quarter success in another Fast-Track Qualifier over six furlongs on Polytrack at Kempton Park on January 16. The three-year-old son of Society Rock ran on nine occasions as a two-year-old, which included his two-length fourth to Declarationofpeace in the Listed Qatar Juvenile Turf Sprint Stakes at Del Mar, USA, in November and fourth in the valuable Weatherbys Super Sprint, also on turf, at Newbury. Corinthia Knight was successful on his only start to date on Tapeta, taking a novice race over five furlongs at Wolverhampton in August, 2017. The 105-rated colt reverts to the minimum distance of five furlongs for his first run at Newcastle. Watson, based in Upper Lambourn, said today: “Corinthia Knight is in really good form at home and he has come out of his latest run at Kempton really well.
“He is his usual bouncy self at home, he loves racing and we’re looking forward to Wednesday’s race. It’s a contest we’ve looked at for a while as you have to make a clear plan as to which races to target ahead of All-Weather Finals Day and this event fits nicely into the programme.”
“I think conditions at Newcastle will suit. He has won on Polytrack and Tapeta, so it seems that all synthetic surfaces are much of a muchness to him. He’s won on this surface at Wolverhampton and he is a three-time winner over five furlongs, so the drop back in trip will also suit him.”
“He’s been a credit to us. He ran some fine races last year, including twice at Ascot and going over to America, but he does seem to really enjoy the All-Weather. All-Weather Finals Day is definitely the plan with him after his Newcastle run. It’s a great prize fund and you would have to think that he goes to Lingfield on Good Friday with every chance irrespective of what happens on Wednesday. The draw will play a big role in things, but he proved at Kempton last time that he stays six furlongs, so we’d be hopeful that he would have strong claims at Lingfield on March 30.”
Fellow Lambourn handler Ed Walker saddles the progressive Desert Doctor (Liam Keniry), successful on three of his four outings on the All-Weather.
A neck winner at Kempton Park on Polytrack over six furlongs in November, the three-year-old registered back-to-back victories over five furlongs on the Tapeta at Wolverhampton in January.
Newmarket trainer Roger Varian sends To Wafij (Andrea Atzeni) to Wednesday’s contest. Successful at Yarmouth on debut in May, 2017, the Kodiac colt was sixth to Abel Handy in the G3 Cornwallis Stakes at Newmarket in October and will be making his All-Weather debut at Newcastle.
Stone Of Destiny (David Simcock/Jamie Spencer)and Nearest Green (Kevin Ryan/Kevin Stott)both put their unbeaten records on the line in Wednesday’s five-furlong contest. Stone Of Destiny registered a smooth three quarters of a length success on his debut over six furlongs at Newcastle on January 12, whilst Nearest Green also made a winning start when scoring by two lengths over course and distance on January 19.
The consistent Lord Of The Glen (Jim Goldie/Phil Dennis) has been a regular at Gosforth Park this winter, with his last seven runs being at the track. A three-time winner over course and distance, the Orientor gelding was a three-length winner over Wiff Waff in a handicap on February 9.
Lake Volta (Mark Johnston/Franny Norton), who has been gelded since finishing sixth over six furlongs at Newcastle in October, completes the line-up for Wednesday’s Fast-Track Qualifier when dropping down to five furlongs for the first time.