Irish trainer Michael Halford is hoping to run Russian Soul in the six-furlong £150,000 Unibet All-Weather Sprint (2.10pm) at Lingfield Park on All-Weather Championships Finals Day, Good Friday, March 25.
The eight-year-old son of Invincible Spirit has been successful twice from three outings this year, both over six furlongs on Polytrack at Dundalk.
Russian Soul made his first trip from Ireland to Lingfield Park on February 27 but found the five furlongs too sharp after being slow into stride in the Listed Unibet Hever Sprint Stakes. He finished last of 10, though beaten less than five lengths.
Halford is hoping for a much better performance if Russian Soul, a Group Three winner on turf in 2013, makes the maximum 12-strong field as there are 17 entries.
The trainer commented: “Russian Soul won well at Dundalk last time. We brought him over for the Hever Sprint at Lingfield last month and five furlongs was probably a bit sharp for him that day.
“It all happened a bit quick for him and he was taken off his feet coming down the hill. He was finishing strongly that day and will appreciate racing over six furlongs.
“We wanted to give him a bit of experience at the course with a view to coming back for Good Friday.
“His win at Dundalk showed that he is in good spirits and he is a lot sharper now compared to earlier in the year. He needed his first run (when winning at Dundalk on February 19) and his trip to Lingfield really sharpened him up.
“He showed the benefit of that last week and has come out of the race really well.”
The £150,000 Unibet All-Weather Sprint has been priced up by the sponsor:- 9/4 Lancelot Du Lac, 4/1 Goken, 8/1 Alben Star, 10/1 Rivellino, Spring Heeled, 12/1 Gamgoom, 14/1 Chookie Royale, Lightscameraction, 16/1 Boom The Groom, Intransigent, 20/1 Jamesie, Realize, Shyron, 25/1 Bosham, 33/1 Hoofalong, Russian Soul, 50/1 Brother Tiger.
Lancelot Du Lac (pictured)(Dean Ivory) broke the five-furlong course record at Chelmsford City when readily beating German challenger Gamgoom (Mario Hofer) in a Fast-Track Qualifier at the start of January.
Lightscameraction captured the Unibet Three-Year-Old Sprint Championships on Good Friday last year and the Gay Kelleway-trained gelding set up a return visit with a brave success in the Unibet Hever Sprint Stakes over five furlongs at Lingfield Park on February 23.
Goken (Kevin Ryan) booked his Good Friday place with an impressive display in the Listed Unibet Golden Rose Stakes over the same course and distance in November, while Rivellino (Karl Burke) also guaranteed his spot by scoring over six furlongs at Lingfield Park in the Listed Unibet Cleves Stakes.
The 2014 Unibet All-Weather Sprint champion Alben Star (Richard Fahey) has also been entered, while Ladbrokes Mile contenders Chookie Royale (Keith Dalgleish) and Realize (Stuart Williams) could line up instead over this two-furlong shorter trip.
The £150,000 32Red Three-Year-Old Mile Championships (2.40pm) at Lingfield Park on Good Friday re-opened yesterday after receiving nine entries and today has 11 going forward. They are Bear Faced (Sir Mark Prescott), Beleave (Luke Dace), Bernie’s Boy (Andrew Balding), Cape Speed (Mark Johnston), Haalick (Roger Varian), Race Day (Saeed bin Suroor), Sea of Flames (David Elsworth), Special Season (William Haggas), Theos Lolly (Richard Fahey), Turbine (Mark Johnston) and Yeah Baby Yeah (Gay Kelleway).
Lingfield Park hosts seven great races for the climax of the All-Weather Championships on Good Friday, March 25, with prize money of £1.1 million.
Along with the bet365 Good Friday racecard at Wolverhampton Racecourse, which is worth £156,000, March 25 looks set to be the best day of All-Weather Racing ever hosted in Great Britain.