All-Weather champions Pretend and Lightscameraction are among 14 entries for the £19,000 Betway Conditions Stakes (5.00pm) over five furlongs on Tapeta at Newcastle on Thursday, January 12.
Both horses were victorious on All-Weather Championship Finals Day in 2015, with Pretend (Charlie Appleby) taking the Betway All-Weather Sprint for older horses and Lightscameraction (Gay Kelleway) landing the Three-Year-Old All-Weather Sprint.
Pretend is in line to have his first start since finishing fifth in a Listed race at Chester in July, while Lightscameraction was sixth on his first run since early October in a six-furlong conditions race at Wolverhampton on December 26.
Thursday’s contest is a Fast-Track Qualifier for the £150,000 Betway All-Weather Sprint over six furlongs on Polytrack at Lingfield Park on All-Weather Championships Finals Day, Good Friday, April 14. The winner next Thursday gains a free and automatic place in the Good Friday contest.
The entries also include Listed Betway Golden Rose Stakes runner-up Mythmaker (Bryan Smart) and Gracious John (David Evans), who was runner-up to Distant Past (Kevin Ryan) in a handicap over the course and distance on December 21.
Irish handler Tracey Collins is planning to run Dundalk specialist Chiclet. The six-year-old mare has won five times on the Polytrack at Dundalk, most recently recording an impressive front-running success in a five-furlong handicap in July.
She was a close fifth behind Caspian Prince in the Listed Mercury Stakes at Dundalk in October and ninth last time out when stepped up to six furlongs for a handicap on December 16.
Collins said today: “Chiclet is very well and the intention at the moment is to head to Newcastle.
“Last time she had to run over six furlongs because there were no suitable races for her – she wouldn’t get six furlongs in a horsebox! Our hand was forced a bit because she needed to have a run.
“She is very good on the All-Weather and very good around a bend, but she is yet to run on a straight All-Weather track so it will be interesting to see how she goes.”
Other notable contenders include Kimberella (Dandy Nicholls), who improved over a stone in 2016, and Justice Good (David Elsworth), a decisive winner at Kempton Park on his latest start.
All-Weather specialist Realize (Stuart Williams) is among 21 entries for the £45,000 Sunbet.co.uk Handicap (4.30pm) over seven furlongs. The seven-year-old, who runs at Lingfield Park tomorrow, notched up his tenth success on All-Weather last time out in a seven-furlong conditions race at Chelmsford City on December 22.
The entries also feature Flaming Spear (Kevin Ryan) and Steel Train (David O’Meara), both winners at Newcastle on their latest starts, as well as dual Group Three scorer Captain Cat (Tony Carroll) and classy mare Volunteer Point (Mick Channon).