Trainer Jeremy Gask is hoping popular sprinter Medicean Man can make it third time lucky in the £40,000 Listed Betway Golden Rose Stakes (12.50pm, 12 runners), the first of two Fast-Track Qualifiers at Lingfield Park tomorrow, Saturday, November 12.
The winner of the six-furlong contest is guaranteed a free start in the £150,000 Betway All-Weather Sprint Championships over the same course and distance on All-Weather Championships Finals Day, Good Friday, April 14, 2017.
Medicean Man (Nicky Mackay) was fifth to Intransigent in 2014 and last year faded to sixth behind Goken after racing prominently. He comes into tomorrow’s race on the back of two good efforts in Listed company and was last seen out when finishing third behind Caspian Prince in the five-furlong Mercury Stakes, also on Polytrack, at Dundalk, Ireland, on October 21.
The 10-year-old was beaten a short-head in the 2015 G1 King’s Stand Stakes on turf at Royal Ascot and ran another excellent race in this year’s renewal to finish sixth, beaten two lengths, behind Profitable.
Gask said today: “Medicean Man has been in terrific form and I could not be happier with him. He is certainly not showing any signs of age catching up with him.
“He has not had a lot of luck in this race before. Two years ago he wasn’t as forward he is now because he hadn’t run since Royal Ascot and last year he raced on the front end which isn’t his way of doing things. I think you can discount those two performances.
“I would be hoping for better this time, but unfortunately we haven’t drawn too well [in stall 11].
“I would say Dubai is the plan for him again next year. Nothing is set in stone but I suspect that would be the idea.”
Medicean Man’s 11 rivals are headed by Lord Of The Land (David O’Meara/Danny Tudhope) who drops back in trip after an impressive victory under top-weight in a seven-furlong handicap at the course on October 27.
Rivellino (Karl Burke/Joey Haynes pictured) is a two-time Listed winner over the course and distance, having captured the last two renewals of the Cleves Stakes, while Wokingham Handicap victor Outback Traveller (Martin Harley) has his first start on the All-Weather since switching to trainer Robert Cowell.
Other notables include G3 scorer Aeolus (Ed Walker/George Baker), runner-up behind Growl on turf at Doncaster last week, Gracious John (David Evans/John Egan) and G1 32Red Sprint Cup sixth Jane’s Memory (Rae Guest/Martin Dwyer).
Tomorrow’s other Fast-Track Qualifier is the £45,000 Listed Betway Churchill Stakes (2.00pm, 11 runners). The 10-furlong contest is a qualifier for the feature £200,000 Betway Easter Classic over the same distance on Finals Day.
All-Weather Horse of the Year Grendisar (Marco Botti/Adam Kirby) is having his first start since winning the Easter Classic in March. His rivals include Yorker (William Haggas/Pat Cosgrave), a three-time G1 victor in South Africa, Energia Davos (Jane Chapple-Hyam/George Baker), who captured the Listed James Seymour Stakes at Newmarket last time out, and John Smith’s Cup winner Educate (Ismail Mohammed/James Doyle).
Lingfield Park’s eight-race card, starting at 11.45pm, also includes the £19,000 sunbets.co.uk Handicap (1.25pm), which has attracted 12 runners including two previous winners of the All-Weather Mile Championships – Captain Cat (Tony Carroll/George Baker) and Grey Mirage (Marco Botti/Luke Morris).