Kananee maintained his 100 per cent record on the All-Weather with a narrow victory over Sutter County in the six-furlong 32Red Casino Conditions Stakes on Tapeta at Newcastle this afternoon, Thursday, November 17.
The son of Exceed And Excel is now has a free guaranteed start in the £150,000 All-Weather Three-Year-Old Championships Conditions Stakes over the same distance on Polytrack at Lingfield Park on Good Friday, April 14.
Sent off the 7/4 favourite today, Kananee (Saeed bin Suroor/Kevin Stott) refused to settle behind the front-running Nuclear Power (William Muir/Graham Lee, 11/4) for most of the first half of the race, fighting for his head.
The Godolphin-owned colt came to challenge between Nuclear Power and Mutahaady (Karl Burke/Ben Curtis, 8/1) over two furlongs out, hit the front with just over a furlong to run and ran on well.
Sutter County (Mark Johnston/PJ McDonald, 6/1) battled on strongly against the stands’ side rail but could not quite get to grips with Kananee.
The winning distance was a neck, with a further two and a quarter lengths back to Parnassian (Karl Burke/Joey Haynes, 7/2) in third. The winning time was 1m 10.89s.
Stott, who was riding Kananee for the first time, said: “Kananee was game. He jumped fast from the stalls but nothing really wanted to go on.
“He was a bit too keen for the first furlong and a half, but he battled well and the next time he runs we will probably get the hood back on him to see if he settles better.
“You can’t hit the front too early at Newcastle but because he was running that keen I had to let him down a bit.
“He is still green as he only had four starts before today. He has done it the hard way, but the good way.”
This was a fourth success from five outings for Kananee, who has proved versatile, winning on turf at York and on Polytrack at Lingfield Park and Kempton Park.
PJ McDonald said of the runner-up: “Sutter County has run an absolute cracker and going into the final furlong I thought I would win.
“Sutter County is a nice horse and I think he will go on again from today. He travelled lovely and I could have put him anywhere I wanted in the race.
“He gave me a beautiful feel and I am a bit gutted he got beat because he didn’t deserve to get beat.
“It is the first time I have sat on him or had anything to do with him but the yard speaks highly of him. They were expecting a big run today and they weren’t wrong.”