Trainer Mark Johnston made it two Fast-Track Qualifier victories on consecutive evenings when Watersmeet made all for a game victory in the €25,000 Coral.ie Race (8pm) at Dundalk, Ireland, today Friday, March 4.
The North Yorkshire-based trainer, responsible for Notarised who won another Fast-Track Qualifier at Chelmsford City on March 3, now has two strong candidates for All-Weather Championships Finals Day at Lingfield Park, Good Friday, March 25.
Joe Fanning, who rode both horses to victory, sent Watersmeet, the 10/11 favourite in the field of five, straight into the lead.
Watersmeet, a five-year-old grey son of Dansili, resisted two strong challenges in the straight, first from Mandatario (Jim Bolger/Kevin Manning, 3/1) and then from Political Policy (Gavin Cromwell/Ronan Whelan, 7/1) who came with a good run on the outside inside the final furlong.
But the British challenger ran on well and saw off Political Policy and Mandatario by a half-length and the same in 2m 18.15s for the 10 furlongs and 150y on Polytrack.
Fanning commented: “Watersmeet was just idling a bit up the straight – he can be a bit like that.
“Once they came to challenge him, he picked up and battled on. The second and third were nearly upsides me but I always felt my horse was just having a good look.
“Watersmeet is likely to be aimed at one of the races on Finals Day now. He stays further than this.”
The Coral.ie Race was the last of four Fast-Track Qualifiers for the £200,000 Coral Easter Classic at Lingfield Park on All-Weather Championships Finals Day and Watersmeet gained a free and automatic place in the 10-furlong race on Polytrack.
The other Fast-Track Qualifier today was the £19,000 Download The New Unibet Racing App Conditions Stakes (6.45pm) over five furlongs on Tapeta at Wolverhampton.
There was a tight finish with Wolowitz (David Barron/Graham Gibbon, 5/2 second favourite) and Kadrizzi (Dean Ivory/Robert Winston, 11/8 favourite) going head to head in the final furlong, with the former overcoming the latter by a neck at the line and the pair were two and three quarter lengths clear of the third, Shadow Hunter (Paul D’Arcy/Shane Kelly, 11/2).
Wolowitz, a fast-improving three-year-old son of Intense Focus, is unbeaten in three starts on the All-Weather and won this in 59.77s.
He and Kadrizzi, already a Fast-Track Qualifier winner, are likely to meet again in the £150,000 Unibet Three-Year-Old Sprint Championships over the same distance at Lingfield Park on All-Weather Championships Finals Day, Good Friday, March 25.