Lancelot Du Lac looks set for a second appearance on All-Weather Championships Finals Day following a decisive success in the £30,000 Scoop6Soccer Results At totepoolliveinfo.com Conditions Stakes (2.15pm) at Chelmsford City on Saturday, January 2.
Victory in the five-furlong Fast-Track Qualifier ensures that the Dean Ivory-trained six-year-old receives an automatic place in the £150,000 Unibet All-Weather Sprint Championships over six furlongs at Lingfield Park on March 25 – a race in which he finished eighth in 2014.
Sent off the Evens favourite, Lancelot Du Lac travelled strongly throughout the race under Robert Winston and quickened well to take the lead a furlong from home before going on to score by a length and a half in 57.39s, a new course record.
German raider Gamgoom (8/1, Mario Hofer/Martin Harley) rallied to take second near the line with Lightscameraction (5/2, Gay Kelleway/Adam Kirby), who led the field for much of the race, a further neck back in third.
Ivory commented: “I am over the moon with how Lancelot Du Lac won today. We could have made a few little excuses beforehand, such as his ability to handle the track and his wide draw, but the way he jumped out of the gates showed that he is a true professional.
“We ran him in the big Good Friday race a couple of years ago but he bumped the rail that day and had to be snatched up a bit. I think now that we have qualified for the race again, we have to look seriously at running him again.
“I think he is going to be a better horse this year. He was a little unlucky when he went to Dubai at the start of last season and horses seem to need a few months to get over the trip when they come back.
“He has bounced back and has the speed for five furlongs. He is a very versatile horse – he can run over five or six furlongs – and Robert Winston gets on so well with him.
“All credit to Robert, he knows Lancelot Du Lac and was never worried about the five furlongs today, even though I had a slight doubt myself. The horse went and did it in style for us.”
Winston added: “Lancelot Du Lac has got a lot of natural pace and has quickened with age – he has really matured into himself. He is hitting the gates like never before and hopefully he is going to land a big race over five furlongs this year.
“He ran over six furlongs for most of last season apart from the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot, when he ran a good race, and he shown today what a good five-furlong specialist he could be.
“He will be there to be shot at on Good Friday. He is very, very quick now – even in the big six-furlong sprints last year, he was leading them down until the last furlong and was very keen in his races.”