Godolphin landed its fifth Fast-Track Qualifier of the 2016/2017 All-Weather Championships season with Antiquarium (Charlie Appleby/Adam Kirby, 6/4) taking the Betway Conditions Stakes at Wolverhampton in good style today, Monday, January 16.
Staged over an extended two miles on Tapeta, the Betway Conditions Stakes was the second of four Fast-Track Qualifiers for the £150,000 Betway Marathon Championships, run over a similar distance on Polytrack at Lingfield Park on All-Weather Championships Finals Day, Good Friday, April 14.
Antiquarium is now guaranteed a free and automatic place in the Betway Marathon Championships. Godolphin also owns the winner of the first Fast-Track Qualifier in the Marathon category, Winning Story (Saeed bin Suroor).
Antiquarium was held up in mid-division in today’s contest as another Godolphin runner, Famous Kid (Saeed bin Suroor/Josephine Gordon, 6/5 Fav), made the running.
Half a mile from home, the Antiquarium began to make good progress to travel smoothly on the heels of the leaders.
The five-year-old son of New Approach took up the running entering the final furlong and ran on well to win a shade cosily by a length and three quarters from Famous Kid, with Steve Rogers (Roger Varian/Jack Mitchell, 13/2) a further four and a half lengths in third.
The winning time was 3m 34.39s. Antiquarium is no stranger to big-race success on the All-Weather, having taken the John Smith’s Northumberland Plate on Tapeta at Newcastle in 2016.
Adam Kirby, reinforcing his position at the head of the 2016/2017 All-Weather Championship’s jockeys’ standings, commented afterwards: “I am very pleased with Antiquarium.
“He is an easy actioned horse and very clear winded. He is very easy to ride and you can put him where you want him.
“We went a good gallop and then, with a circuit to go, it steadied up a little bit but we were going again in good time.
“He stays and doesn’t pull so there is no point complicating things. He is the perfect horse for the All-Weather.
“Antiquarium gave me a great feel and will be a major player on Good Friday.”
There is another Fast-Track Qualifier tomorrow, Tuesday, January 17, at Kempton Park, when six runners are due to line up in the £19,000 Smarter Bets With Matchbook Betting Exchange Conditions Stakes (3.40pm).
The six-furlong Polytrack contest is a Fast-Track Qualifier for the £150,000 32Red All-Weather Three-Year-Old Championships Conditions Stakes over the same distance and surface at Lingfield Park on the All-Weather Championships Finals Day, Good Friday, April 14.