Talented fillies Diagnostic and Raven’s Lady spearhead five runners for the £20,000 32Red.com Fillies’ Conditions Race (3.00pm) at Wolverhampton on Thursday, January 4.
The winner of the seven-furlong contest on Tapeta is guaranteed a free and automatic start in the £150,000 32Red All-Weather Fillies & Mares Championships over the same distance on All-Weather Championships Finals Day, Good Friday, March 30.
Diagnostic (William Haggas/Daniel Tudhope) has won her last three starts, all on Polytrack at Chelmsford City, the latest of which saw her defy a 6lb penalty impressively in a six-furlong handicap on November 2.
The four-year-old, who has raced just four times, proved herself in good style over seven furlongs on her two previous outings, annexing a maiden on October 6 and a handicap on October 26.
Raven’s Lady (Marco Botti/Oisin Murphy), who also has an official rating of 95, has not raced since finishing fourth as the odds-on favourite for a seven-furlong handicap at Chelmsford City on August 31.
She captured a pair of six-furlong contests on turf at Newmarket, including a conditions race in June, and finished third behind Queen Kindly in a fillies’ Listed race over six furlongs at Pontefract on August 20.
Newmarket trainer Marco Botti said today: “Raven’s Lady has been working well. She had a bit of a break, but we have been aiming at this race for a while.
“When I looked at the entries, it looked more competitive than I expected, but I think she is fit enough and on ratings she should have a good chance.
“She did not enjoy the track on her last run at Chelmsford. The track was very deep that day and she is a filly who wants a fast surface.
“On grass, she is definitely a sprinter and goes well over six furlongs, but on the All-Weather the extra furlong is no problem, especially on a fast track like Wolverhampton.”
Summer Icon (Mick Channon/Charles Bishop), who was third in a G3 contest on turf at Naas, Ireland, in May, also runs and has reached the frame in eight of her 11 starts on the All-Weather.
The line-up is completed by lightly-raced Star Quality (David Loughnane/Dougie Costello), a maiden winner over the course and distance last month, and Courier (Mick Appleby/Luke Morris), a close third in a Kempton Park seven-furlong handicap last month on her second start for trainer Mick Appleby.
Wolverhampton’s eight-race programme on Thursday starts at 1.55pm and ends at 5.35pm.
The first Fast-Track Qualifier of 2018 takes place today at Newcastle, with G2 scorer Caspian Prince headlining an excellent field of seven for the Betway Conditions Stakes (5.10pm) over five furlongs.