Trainer Tom Dascombe is expecting an improved performance from Angelic Lord in the £50,000 Ladbrokes Lady Wulfruna Stakes (2.50pm, eight runners) at Wolverhampton on Saturday, March 12. A high-quality contest is in prospect with the seven British-trained runners boasting an average BHA rating of 106.
Run over seven furlongs and 32 yards on Tapeta, the Listed prize is the final Fast-Track Qualifier of the All-Weather Championships.
The winner receives a free and automatic place in the £150,000 Ladbrokes Mile on Polytrack at Lingfield Park on All-Weather Championships Finals Day, Good Friday, March 25.
Angelic Lord was well-backed ahead of his return in the Listed Unibet Cleves Stakes at Lingfield Park on February 6, but trailed home last of 12 in the six-furlong contest. That was his first run since defeating Intibaah by a length in a conditions race over the same trip at Haydock Park on turf in July.
The four-year-old’s only other start on the All-Weather saw him go down by a neck to Lexington Times in the Listed 32Red Spring Cup over seven furlongs at Lingfield Park in March, 2015.
Angelic Lord boasted some smart form as a two-year-old, including sixth in the Group Two Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot and a decisive victory over subsequent Group victor Markaz in a conditions race at Doncaster’s Ladbrokes St Leger Festival.
Cheshire-based Dascombe said today: “Angelic Lord had a slight problem after he won last summer and it took us a long time to get him back.
“To be quite honest, I was disappointed with his performance at Lingfield last month – I expected him to run a lot better than that. He seems to have come on mentally and I think he will go much better on Saturday.
“I don’t think we have seen the best of this horse. He has only run nine times in his life. He was a decent two-year-old and we have always thought a lot of him, but it hasn’t quite worked out for us yet.”
Angelic Lord, the mount of regular rider Richard Kingscote and owned by the Mad March Hares, faces seven rivals. They are headed by Group Three scorer Sovereign Debt (Dandy Nicholls/Adrian Nicholls) and Chookie Royale (Keith Dalgleish/Tom Eaves), who were first and second 12 months ago, plus Irish Champions Weekend victor Kelinni (Kevin Ryan/Shane Gray).
Mark Johnston, who captured two Fast-Track Qualifiers last week, saddles recent Lingfield Park handicap winner Mister Universe (Joe Fanning), while Realize (Stuart Williams/Sean Levey) is chasing on a three-timer after landing two valuable handicaps at Lingfield Park. The field is completed by Glen Moss (Michael Dods/Paul Mulrennan) and Irish raider Seanie (David Marnane/Adam Kirby).
Saturday’s seven-race card also features the £50,000 Ladbrokes Lincoln Trial Handicap (2.15pm, 13 runners) over an extended mile.
Racing gets underway at 1.40pm and finishes at 5.10pm.