Multiple Group One winner Gordon Lord Byron headlines the high-class line-up for the Listed EBF Stallions Hyde Stakes (6.55pm, 10 runners) at Kempton Park on Wednesday, November 18.
The £40,000 mile contest on Polytrack is a Fast-Track Qualifier for the £150,000 Ladbrokes Mile at Lingfield Park on All-Weather Championships Finals Day, Good Friday, March 25.
Gordon Lord Byron (Tom Hogan/Wayne Lordan) has scored three times at the highest level, most recently in the Group One George Ryder Stakes over an extended seven furlongs at Rosehill, Australia, in March, 2014. The globetrotting seven-year-old also captured the six-furlong Haydock Sprint Cup in 2013 and the previous year’s Prix de la Foret at Longchamp at seven furlongs.
He has posted some solid efforts in defeat during a busy campaign this year, notably when third to Muhaarar in the Group One Prix Maurice de Gheest over an extended six furlongs at Deauville in August, and was last seen out when fourth to Take Cover in the Listed Mercury Stakes over five furlongs at Dundalk on October 23. He is a three-time winner on the Polytrack at Dundalk, but has yet to triumph over a mile.
Hogan, who trains in Co Tipperary, Ireland, said: “Gordon Lord Byron seems well. He had his ups and downs mid-season but he seems in pretty good nick at the moment.
“The five furlongs at Dundalk was too sharp for him. He needs slower ground to perform over five but it was a decent run.
“He has good form over a mile in Hong Kong and the configuration of Sha Tin is almost identical to Kempton, so he should act well on the track. He will hopefully be off to Hong Kong again for the international meeting in December.
“If he was to win on Wednesday, we will definitely consider Finals Day (Good Friday, March 25, 2016 at Lingfield Park) because there isn’t that much for him at that time of year.”
The opposition is headed by Sovereign Debt (pictured)(David Nicholls/Joe Fanning) who was a luckless second in this year’s Ladbrokes Mile. The six-year-old enjoyed an excellent campaign on turf subsequently, landing two Listed prizes and a Group Three.
Exciting three-year-old Richard Pankhurst (John Gosden/William Buick) makes his All-Weather debut after defying a 439-day absence in a seven-furlong conditions race at Haydock Park in September. The son of Raven’s Pass won the Listed Chesham Stakes decisively at Royal Ascot in 2014.
Celestial Path (Sir Mark Prescott/Luke Morris) is on a recovery mission after trailing home last in a seven-furlong Listed race at Redcar on October 3. That was his first run since finishing fifth to Gleneagles in the first British Classic, the Group One QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket in May.
Other notables include Big Baz (William Muir/Graham Lee), a Listed scorer over a mile at Newmarket last time out, and unexposed three-year-old Very Special (Saeed bin Suroor/James Doyle), who was runner-up in the Listed 32Red/ebfstallions.com Fleur De Lys Fillies’ Stakes at Lingfield Park on October 29.
Kempton Park’s seven-race card also includes the £19,000 32Red Handicap (7.25pm, 13 runners) over two miles. The field features All-Weather specialist Noble Silk (Lucy Wadham/Graham Lee), course and distance scorer Wakea (Jeremy Noseda/Jimmy Fortune) and progressive three-year-old Percy Veer (Sylvester Kirk/Luke Morris).
The action gets underway at 4.25pm and ends at 7.55pm.