There are 83 horses declared to run, including 43 rated 100 or more, across the seven races on Polytrack for the £1-million All-Weather Championships Finals Day at Lingfield Park on Good Friday, April 14.
The most lucrative prize of the afternoon is the £200,000 Betway Easter Classic (4.40pm, nine runners) over 10 furlongs. Convey (Sir Michael Stoute/Ryan Moore) is the 9/4 favourite with Betway following a narrow victory over Pinzolo and Absolute Blast (Archie Watson/Luke Morris, 4/1) in the G3 Betway Winter Derby over the course and distance on February 25.
Last year’s winner and All-Weather Horse of The Year Grendisar (Marco Botti/Silvestre de Sousa, 6/1) is bidding to become the first two-time winner of the Betway Easter Classic.
The seven-year-old has not quite produced his best form in four starts this winter, latterly finishing a staying-on fifth, though beaten only a length, behind Convey in the Betway Winter Derby.
Trainer Marco Botti said today: “Grendisar is training well and looks in the same form as heading into Good Friday last year.
“This year hasn’t quite gone to plan and whether that is because he is a year older or running against slightly better horses, I don’t know.
“But from what we see at home he is in really good order and looks well. I am sure if he bounces back to his best form, he must be a strong contender.
“The team have decided to use Silvestre de Sousa. It will be the first time Silvestre rides him. We have put the cheekpieces back on as well as I didn’t think the blinkers made any difference last time.”
Battalion (Jamie Osborne/Adam Kirby, 5/1) won his first two starts impressively for new connections this winter, including a smooth success in the Listed Betway Quebec Stakes over course and distance in December.
Elbereth (Andrew Balding/David Probert, 6/1) booked her place in the line-up with victory in a Fast-Track Qualifier at Dundalk last month, while Metropol (Pia Brandt/Maxime Guyon, 16/1), one of two French challengers, is back for another tilt after finishing third last year.
Third Time Lucky (Richard Fahey/Paul Hanagan, 10/1), winner of the 2015 Cambridgeshire at Newmarket, the other French runner Allez Henri (Didier & Pauline Prod’homme/Aurelien Lemaitre, 16/1) and Van Huysen (Dominic Ffrench Davis/John Egan, 66/1) complete the field.
2.10pm £150,000 Betway All-Weather Marathon Championships, 1m 7f 169y
Godolphin pair Natural Scenery (Saeed bin Suroor/David Probert, 4/1 fav with Betway) and Winning Story (Saeed bin Suroor/Silvestre de Sousa, 7/1), both successful at Newcastle this winter, head a maximum field of 14 runners for the Betway All-Weather Marathon Championships.
The line-up also features G3 Betway Winter Derby runner-up Pinzolo (Ismail Mohamed/Sean Levey, 6/1) and Wolverhampton scorer Cohesion (David Bridgwater/Ryan Moore, 8/1), as well as Fast-Track victors Watersmeet (Mark Johnston/Joe Fanning, 9/2), First Mohican (Alan King/Hollie Doyle, 14/1) and Winterlude (Jennie Candlish/David Nolan, 16/1).
2.40pm £150,000 32Red All-Weather Fillies’ And Mares’ Championships, 7f
Muffri’Ha (William Haggas/Pat Cosgrave, 6/4 fav with 32Red), a close third last time out in the G1 Jebel Hatta on turf at Meydan, Dubai, clashes with fellow G3 winners Realtra (Roger Varian/Andrea Atzeni, 5/1) and Ashadihan (Kevin Ryan/Kevin Stott, 2/1) in the 32Red All-Weather Fillies’ And Mares’ Championships.
The 12-strong field also includes last year’s winner Volunteer Point (Mick Channon/Graham Lee, 10/1) and Carolinae (Charlie Fellowes/Stevie Donohoe, 10/1), who has won her last two starts on the All-Weather.
3.10pm £150,000 Betway All-Weather Sprint Championships, 6f
Pretend (Charlie Appleby/Adam Kirby, 4/1 with Betway, drawn 12), winner of this race in 2015, and last year’s runner-up Lancelot Du Lac (Dean Ivory/Robert Winston, 3/1, drawn 6) headline a maximum field of 12, plus two reserves, for the Betway All-Weather Sprint Championships.
Richard Fahey is bidding for a third win in the race with recent course winner Kimberella (Paul Hannagan, 9/2, drawn 5). Fast-Track scorers Doc Sportello (Michael Herrington/Graham Lee, 16/1, drawn 14), Royal Birth (Stuart Williams/Aaron Jones, 7/1, drawn 3) and Sign Of The Kodiac (James Given/Joe Fanning, 33/1, drawn 2) also run.
3.40pm £150,000 Sunbets All-Weather Mile Championships, 1m
Ennaadd (Roger Varian/Andrea Atzeni, 7/4 fav with Sunbets) stars among a full field of 12, plus two reserves, for the Sunbets All-Weather Mile Championships. The four-year-old is highest-rated runner on Finals Day with a rating of 113, thanks to an impressive Listed success at Kempton Park in November.
Qurbaan (Francois Rohaut/Dane O’Neill, 5/1) flies the flag for France after winning Listed prizes at Deauville and Cagnes-sur-Mer, while My Target (Michael Wigham/Connor Beasley, 7/1) is seeking a sixth course and distance success at Lingfield Park this winter.
Sovereign Debt (Ruth Carr/James Sullivan, 6/1) bids to make it third time lucky after finishing second in both 2015 and 2016. Salateen (David O’Meara/Danny Tudhope, 16/1) and Keystroke (Jeremy Noseda/Adam Kirby, 6/1), first and second in the Listed sunbets.co.uk Lady Wulfruna Stakes at Wolverhampton last time out, also reoppose.
4.10pm £150,000 32Red Three-Year-Old All-Weather Championships, 6f
Second Thought (William Haggas/Robert Winston, 5/4 fav with 32Red, drawn 5) bids for a four-timer in the 32Red Three-Year-Old All-Weather Championships. He defeated Sutter County (Mark Johnston/Joe Fanning, 7/2, drawn 1) on his latest start in the seven-furlong Listed 32Red Spring Cup at the course on March 4.
The 10-strong field also includes Godolphin filly Dubai One (Saeed bin Suroor/Ryan Moore, 5/1, drawn 7), who is three from three this winter, Tomily (Richard Hannon/Sean Levey, 13/2, drawn 8) and Dundalk Fast-Track victor Visionary (Robert Cowell/Luke Morris, 12/1, drawn 4).
The opening race of the day is the £50,000 Sunbets All-Weather Champion Apprentice Handicap (1.40pm, 14 runners) over seven furlongs, which gives up and coming young jockeys the chance to shine.
Racing on Good Friday also takes places at two other ARC courses, Newcastle (Tapeta), where the highlight is the £100,000 32Red Burradon Conditions Race (3.55pm, eight runners), and Bath (turf).
Newcastle offers £250,000 in total prize money and Bath £175,000 (the course’s richest ever raceday).