The All-Weather Championships step up a gear at Lingfield Park on Saturday, November 14, with a pair of Listed races offering automatic qualification for All-Weather Championships Finals Day.
The £45,000 Coral.co.uk Churchill Stakes (3.10pm) is a Fast-Track Qualifier for the £200,000 Coral Easter Classic on Good Friday, March 25. Following two eliminations, a maximum field of 14 will line up in the 10-furlong Polytrack contest including last year’s winner Battalion (8/1 with Coral, William Haggas/Tom Queally).
Godolphin, champion owner for the 2014/2015 All-Weather Championships with 98 wins, is set to have three runners including Coral’s 3/1 favourite Let’s Go (pictured)(Saeed bin Suroor/James Doyle), who was second to last season’s Coral Easter Classic victor Tryster in a Chelmsford City conditions race on his latest start.
The royal blue silks are also due to be worn by the John Gosden-trained pair of Chester Group Three winner Maverick Wave (6/1, William Buick) and 32Red All-Weather 3-Y-O Mile Championships runner-up Tempus Temporis (14/1, Jimmy Fortune).
Duel Listed scorer Grendisar (6/1, Mark Botti/Adam Kirby) came home third in last season’s Coral Easter Classic, while Don’t Be (12/1, Sir Mark Prescott/Luke Morris) was the horse with the most wins during the 2014/2015 All-Weather Championships with five victories to her name.
Pia Brandt sent out Fresles to win the 32red.Com All-Weather Fillies’ And Mares’ Championships on Good Friday and the Chantilly-based trainer is aiming for more success at Lingfield Park with Metropol (50/1), who is ridden by Theo Bachelot.
The four-year-old was eighth on his most recent appearance in an extended nine-furlong Polytrack handicap at Chantilly on September 30, but recorded two successes over the same distance on the All-Weather during the summer, including a comfortable three-quarter length victory at Deauville in August.
Brandt commented: “We have forgotten about Metropol’s latest start – he was carrying a lot of weight in a handicap and was sitting too far back in the race. He was allotted 65kg (10st 3lb) and I put my apprentice on to help but it was a little bit too difficult for him.
“He is a horse who loves the All-Weather, winning a pair of big handicaps in the summer. It’s quite late in the season for him, so we decided to give this race a try and see how he gets on, although its looks a difficult race for him on paper.
“I think he will be fine over a mile and a quarter at Lingfield Park. It’s left-handed, which will be quite interesting as he has only gone right-handed in the past, but we think that it might suit him better.
“I hope that he can show what he can do but we will have to find out whether he is good enough or not.”
Coral.co.uk Churchill Stakes – Coral prices:
3/1 Let’s Go; 6/1 Grendisar, Maverick Wave; 7/1 Fire Fighting; 8/1 Battalion; 10/1 Solar Deity; 12/1 Don’t Be; 14/1 Tempus Temporis, This Is The Day, Warrior Of Light, 20/1 Niceofyoutotellme; 50/1 Metropol; 66/1 Amaze Me, Jelly Monger
Each-way 1/5 odds, 1, 2, 3
The £40,000 Unibet Golden Rose Stakes (2.35pm) over six furlongs offers automatic qualification to the £150,000 Unibet All-Weather Sprint Championships over the same distance on Good Friday.
The Listed sprint has attracted a full field of 12 including Polybius (David Lanigan/Ted Durcan), who was a close third in a Group Three contest at Ascot in October, plus Listed course and distance winner Rivellino (Karl Burke/Dougie Costello).
Goken (Kevin Ryan/Graham Lee) was eighth in the Group One Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot in June, while other notable runners include Irish challenger Jamesie (David Marnane/Pat Smullen) and Unibet Three-Year-Old Sprint Championship victor Lightscameraction (Gay Kelleway/Luke Morris).
A seven-race card also features the nine-furlong £19,000 Ladbrokes Handicap (2.00pm), which has field of 11 including Betfred Mile third The Rectifier (Seamus Durack/Adam Kirby) and Mindurownbusiness (Roger Varian/Jim Crowley), who was successful in the Ladbrokes Lincoln Trial at Wolverhampton in March.
Racing gets underway at 12.15pm and ends at 3.45pm.