Lingfield Park hosts two Listed Fast-Track Qualifiers this Saturday, February 3, including the £45,000 Betway Winter Derby Trial (3.05pm), won last year by subsequent three-time G1 victor Decorated Knight.
The winner of the 10-furlong Polytrack contest, which has attracted 15 entries, receives a free and automatic place in the £200,000 Betway Easter Classic on All-Weather Championships Finals Day, March 30.
Petite Jack (Archie Watson, pictured below) has already scored over the same course and distance this season, having edged out Mia Tesoro (Charlie Fellowes) and Utmost (John Gosden) in a thrilling finish to the Listed Betway Quebec Stakes on December 23.
Three contenders from David Simcock include Mr Owen, who gained a third Listed victory on the Polytrack of Deauville, France, with an impressive display in the Prix Luthier on December 16.
Betway Quebec Stakes fourth Intern and Calling Out, who has placed at Group level in France, could also line up for the Newmarket handler.
Victory Bond (William Haggas) readily beat multiple Listed winner Battalion (Jamie Osborne) in a Wolverhampton conditions race on January 8, while lightly-raced four-year-old Star Archer (Hugo Palmer) was a comfortable winner of a novices’ race at the same course the following week.
Arcanada has gained a pair of impressive wins at a mile at Lingfield Park so far this season and the Tom Dascombe-trained five-year-old could make his first appearance over 10 furlongs on Saturday.
The son of Arcano scored by a length in a handicap on November 18 and returned to the Surrey course for a conditions race on January 6, when he easily accounted for the 104-rated Gabrial.
Dascombe, who trains near Malpas in Cheshire, said today: “Arcanada is a possible runner in the Winter Derby Trial.
“He has to run once more to qualify for Finals Day and we have the option of running here or going to Wolverhampton for a conditions race on Monday (February 5).
“I think the jury is out on whether he will stay a mile and a quarter, but it might be worth trying him over this distance to see if it can open up some more opportunities in the future.”
Other contenders for the Betway Winter Derby Trial include last year’s G1 Coronation Cup fourth Elbereth (Andrew Balding) and Fire Fighting (Mark Johnston), who was runner-up in the 2016 Betway Easter Classic.
Red Label (Marco Botti), fifth in an Italian G2 on his latest outing, and the John Ryan-trained pair of Battle Of Marathon and Grey Britain complete the entries.
Saturday’s other Fast-Track Qualifier is the six-furlong £45,000 Betway Cleves Stakes (2.00pm), which offers a free and guaranteed spot in the £150,000 Betway All-Weather Sprint Championships to the winner.
Lancelot Du Lac (Dean Ivory) won the 2017 Betway Cleves Stakes and the eight-year-old, who went on capture the Stewards’ Cup at Glorious Goodwood last summer, features among 20 entries for this year’s renewal.
Kachy finished runner-up in the G1 Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot in 2016 and the talented sprinter, a G3 winner as a juvenile, made an exciting All-Weather debut when powering to a decisive win under top-weight in a six-furlong handicap at Lingfield Park on January 19.
His trainer Tom Dascombe commented today: “This looks an obvious race for Kachy because he wouldn’t have to run again before Good Friday if he wins.
“He won very well over the course and distance in a good time on his last start. It was a step in the right direction, particularly as he hadn’t won for a long time, and it was great to see him back in the winner’s enclosure.
“I haven’t looked at the entries yet, but I would like to think that he would have a strong chance.”
Caspian Prince (Tony Coyle), a G2 winner on turf, has already booked his Good Friday place with victory in a five-furlong Newcastle Fast-Track Qualifier on Tapeta on January 2, while Boom The Groom (Tony Carroll) may bid to avenge his nose defeat to Lancelot Du Lac 12 months ago.
Kimberella (Richard Fahey) and Gracious John (David Evans), first and second in last season’s Betway All-Weather Sprint Championships, also hold entries along with Intisaab (David O’Meara), Gulliver (Hugo Palmer), Mythmaker (Bryan Smart) and Double Up (Roger Varian), who filled the first four places in a Wolverhampton conditions race on December 26.
A seven-race card at Lingfield Park on Saturday gets underway at 12.50pm and runs through until 4.15pm.