Sea Of Flames, owned and bred by Jeff Smith, found compensation for an unlucky passage at Lingfield on his previous run as he caught trailblazing Race Day to take the closing £150,000 32Red All-Weather Three-Year-Old Mile Championships Stakes and gave champion jockey Silvestre De Sousa a lucky 13th winner of 2016.
The David Elsworth-trained Aqlaam gelding turned the tables on the Spring Cup winner 20 days ago, Haalick, an equally unlucky third today.
Peter Maughan, travelling head lad to David Elsworth, said: “It was a great performance from Sea Of Flames. He got into a lot of trouble in his last race and it was a better run today.
“He’s got a parrot mouth so it can be a bit difficult to keep him straight but Silvestre did a lovely job on him.
“He won two races here earlier in the year nicely and then we were disappointed last time but he’s put that right today. He should translate this form to turf and the jockey said he could stay a bit further too, maybe a mile and a quarter. He’s a nice horse to look forward to this year.”
Silvestre de Sousa added: “Sea Of Flames stays well and they went a nice gallop.
“I just sat off the lead horse and he responded well. He will appreciate a bit further.”
HAALICK PLEASES ATZENI
Andrea Atzeni was pleased with Haalick who finished third in the 32Red All-Weather 3 Year Old Mile Championships, after being sent off the 6/4 favourite.
Atzeni, who is heading to Dubai tonight to ride the Roger Varian trained-Postponed in the Sheema Classic tomorrow, said: “He ran a blinder. He just got a little bit tight for room right at the end.
“He was struggling early on to go with them so I just left him alone. Turning in the straight, we had a lot of ground to make up and I didn’t want to bully the horse because it was his first time over a mile. I know he is an All-Weather winner, but I think he will be a nicer horse on the grass.”
Martin Cruddace, Chief Executive of the Arena Racing Company which owns Lingfield Park, commented at the end of the day: “I really could not have hoped for the day to be any better.
“It has been amazing and we are part of the record attendance for Lingfield Park, with over 10,000 people.
“You have seen some real quality horses here and some future stars. The quality is going to get better and better over the years to come.
“To have horses from Ireland, France, Germany and South Africa is amazing, but hopefully in the future we might be able to get horses from the Middle East.”
4.45pm £150,000 32Red All-Weather Three-Year-Old Mile Championships, 1m
For three-year-olds only who, after October 28, 2015, and before March 19, 2016, have run three times on a designated All-Weather surface in Great Britain, Ireland or France, OR have run three times during the Championship period, including twice on a designated All-Weather surface in Great Britain, Ireland or France AND have run at least once at Meydan (Dirt) OR have won an “All-Weather three-year-old mile Fast-Track qualifier” race. Weights: Colts and geldings 9st 5lb; fillies 9st. Maximum field of 12 (plus 2 reserves).
1) 4 SEA OF FLAMES 3 9-05 Jeff Smith David Elsworth Silvestre de Sousa 10/1
2) 8 RACE DAY (IRE) 3 9-05 Godolphin Saeed bin Suroor James Doyle 9/2
3) 1 HAALICK (IRE) 3 9-05 Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum Roger Varian Andrea Atzeni 6/4 Fav
4) 9 YEAH BABY YEAH (IRE) 3 9-00 Winterbeck Manor Stud & Sheila Bailey Gay Kelleway David Probert 50/1
5) 7 SPECIAL SEASON 3 9-05 Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum William Haggas Pat Cosgrave 5/1
6) 6 BERNIE’S BOY 3 9-05 B P McGuire Andrew Balding Oisin Murphy 50/1
7) 5 BEAR FACED 3 9-05 The Barkers & Chris Jenkins Sir Mark Prescott Bt Luke Morris 20/1
8) 2 BELEAVE 3 9-00 Richard L Page Luke Dace Kieran O’Neill 66/1
9) 3 CAPE SPEED (FR) 3 9-05 Kingsley Park 3 – Originals Mark Johnston Joe Fanning 3/1
Time: 1m 35.54s
Distances: 1, nk, 3½, 2¼, 2, 1¼, 2½, 24
Tote Win: £5.20 Places £1.50, £6.40, £1.40 Exacta: £129.10