Carolinae heads five runners for the £20,000 totetrifecta Pick The 1,2,3 Fillies’ Conditions Race (3.10pm) over a mile on Polytrack at Chelmsford City on Friday, February 9.
The Polytrack contest is a Fast-Track Qualifier, with the winner guaranteed a free start in the £150,000 32Red Fillies’ And Mares’ All-Weather Championships over seven furlongs on Polytrack at Lingfield Park on All-Weather Championships Finals Day, Good Friday, March 30.
Carolinae (Charlie Fellowes/Stevie Donohoe) finished seventh behind Realtra on Finals Day last year and has returned to the All-Weather this winter with two good runs at Wolverhampton.
The six-year-old came third behind Stellar Surprise in an extended mile handicap on December 27 before going down narrowly behind the same rival in a similar contest over the same course and distance on January 29.
Charlie Fellowes, who is based in Newmarket, said today: “Carolinae is in good form. She had a nice break during the second half of the summer with the intention of coming back for the All-Weather Championships.
“I thought she ran a really good race – almost a PB – last time at Wolverhampton. I just think she got outstayed by the other filly and, although the slight drop back in trip on Friday is a positive, I think the seven furlongs of the final will suit even better.
“I don’t believe we have seen the best of her on the All-Weather, despite the fact she is a six-year-old.
“I think the fillies’ division looks weaker this year, which I am licking my lips about, because you have no Muffri’ha or Realtra or anything like that knocking about.
“Carolinae finished seventh in the final last year, in what was surely a stronger race than it will be this year, and we have got our eyes firmly on the final again.
“I will let the filly dictate, but I suspect we will have at least one more run after this before Good Friday. There is a mile conditions race at Lingfield, which she won last year, at the end of the month or there is another quite valuable seven-furlong fillies’ handicap at Newcastle two days later.”
Fellow Newmarket trainer David Simcock saddles two runners in top-rated Soul Silver (Oisin Murphy) and Veena (Martin Harley).
Soul Silver finished second behind Pattie (Mick Channon/Charles Bishop) in a seven-furlong handicap at Lingfield Park on January 10, while Veena has succeeded on her last two starts in lesser company at Kempton Park and Lingfield Park.
Courier (Mick Appleby/Luke Morris), who landed a handicap over the course and distance on January 21, completes the field.