Royal Ascot winner Sound And Silence and G3 runner-up Corinthia Knight headline a field of eight for the £15,000 32Red.com Conditions Stakes (7.45pm) at Wolverhampton on Saturday, December 9.
The winner of the six-furlong Tapeta Fast-Track Qualifier receives a free and automatic place in the £150,000 32Red 3 Year Old All-Weather Championships Conditions Stakes over the same distance on Polytrack at Lingfield Park on Good Friday, March 30.
Sound And Silence makes his All-Weather debut after going down by a head in the non-graded Qatar Juvenile Turf Sprint Stakes over five furlongs on the undercard of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Del Mar, USA, on November 4, a race in which Corinthia Knight was fourth.
The Charlie Appleby-trained Sound And Silence had previously enjoyed an excellent turf campaign in Europe, winning the five-furlong Listed Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot in June and readily scoring over a furlong further in the G3 Prix Eclipse at Maisons-Laffitte, France, in September.
Adam Kirby comes in for the ride on the Godolphin-owned Exceed And Excel colt.
Charlie Appleby commented: “Sound And Silence has been ultra-consistent since winning at Newmarket’s Craven meeting back in April.
“I was delighted with his latest run at Del Mar, when he was edged out on the line, and the step back up in trip won’t be an inconvenience as he won over six furlongs out in France.
“We have to give 7lb to Corinthia Knight, who was only a couple a lengths behind us at Del Mar, and he looks the one to beat strictly on the form book.
“It’s going to be challenging for Sound And Silence to win under a penalty but he goes to Wolverhampton in as good form as he has been all season.
“He keeps taking each run well but we will need to give him a break at some point. If he happens to win, then we will give him a break and head straight to Good Friday but, if he doesn’t, then we will keep him for the turf next year.”
Corinthia Knight (Archie Watson/Luke Morris) has won three of his four starts on the All-Weather, including a comprehensive success over five furlongs at Wolverhampton in August, and was second in the six-furlong G3 Sirenia Stakes on Polytrack at Kempton Park in September.
Other contenders include Listed Redcar Two-Year-Old Trophy sixth Never Back Down (Hugo Palmer/Josephine Gordon), runner-up to Sound And Silence at Newmarket in April, and Deauville Listed winner Izzy Bizu (Mark Johnston/Richard Kingscote).
David Evans is responsible for Joegogo (Fran Berry), who is seeking a fourth straight All-Weather success, and Yogi’s Girl (Andrew Mullen). With three successes already on the board, Joegogo is joint-leader in the race to be the Winning Most Horse in 2017/18 All-Weather Championships for which there is a £10,000 prize.
Dual Wolverhampton winner Our Man In Havana (Richard Price/William Cox) and Chelmsford City maiden scorer Music Society (Sylvester Kirk/Ben Curtis) complete the line-up.
A seven-race evening fixture at Wolverhampton also features the £20,000 Betway Casino Handicap (8.15pm). Seven runners for the 14-furlong contest include Watersmeet (Mark Johnston/Richard Kingscote) and Cohesion (David Bridgwater/Adam Kirby), who were second and fourth in the £150,000 Betway All-Weather Marathon Championships Conditions Stakes on Good Friday last season.