Last year’s winner Western Hymn headlines a strong field of eight for the £45,000 Listed 32Red Floodlit Stakes (2.50pm), run over a mile and a half on Polytrack at Kempton Park on Monday, November 6.
The seven-year-old, trained by John Gosden and ridden by Robert Havlin, scored by half a length 12 months ago, but will have to defy a 5lb penalty following his success in the G3 Ormonde Stakes at Chester in May.
Western Hymn, successful in a G2 and four G3s on turf, is unbeaten on two starts at Kempton Park and the All-Weather, having won a mile maiden on his debut in December, 2013, when also ridden by Havlin.
Marco Botti took the 2014 renewal of the 32Red Floodlit Stakes with subsequent All-Weather Horse of the Year Grendisar and the Newmarket handler relies on Dylan Mouth (Adam Kirby), a three-time G1 winner in Italy.
The six-year-old was an impressive winner of the valuable Old Newton Cup Handicap over 12 furlongs at Haydock Park in July, but disappointed on his latest appearance in the 11-furlong G3 Legacy Cup at Newbury on September 23, when he could only finish 10th.
Botti commented: “Dylan Mouth is in good order.
“I thought that there wasn’t much pace when he ran at Newbury last time. He is one of those horses who is getting a bit wiser as he gets older and needs a strong gallop in his races.
“He was third on the Polytrack at Chelmsford City in May, when we felt that he handled the All-Weather, while Kempton is a nice, galloping track. He should handle conditions and this looks a good opportunity for him.
“I am not quite sure what we are going to do with him over the winter. We had the Hollywood Turf Cup (G2, 1m 4f) at Del Mar on November 24 in mind for him and that is an option, particularly as his owner [The Honourable Earle I Mack] is American.
“The alternative is that we might try and qualify him over the winter for All-Weather Finals Day. At the moment, we are taking it step by step and we will see how he goes on Monday before making any plans.”
Connecticut (Roger Varian/Jack Mitchell), makes only his second start since capturing Turkey’s G2 Bosphorus Cup in September, 2015, while Red Verdon (Ed Dunlop/PJ McDonald) also boasts a high level of international form, having been runner-up in the 2016 G1 Grand Prix de Paris.
Old Newton Cup Handicap second Solder In Action (Jim Crowley) and consistent three-year-old Titi Makfi (Franny Norton) both represent Yorkshire-based trainer Mark Johnston.
Godolphin’s G2 victor Best Of Days (Hugo Palmer/William Buick) and lightly-raced Crimson Rock (Ralph Beckett/David Probert), a three-parts sister to multiple G1 scorer Peeping Fawn, complete the excellent field.
The 32Red Floodlit Stakes boasts a superb roll of honour since its inception in 2006, with G1 winners Spanish Moon (2007), Mastery (2010), Prince Bishop (2011) and Pether’s Moon (2013) all having been successful.
A seven-race card includes the 11-furlong £70,000 32Red London Middle Distance Series Final Handicap (3.20pm), which has 10 runners headed by top-weight Ply (Roger Charlton/William Buick), who is seeking a hat-trick of victories at Kempton Park.
Fellow qualifier winners Western Duke (Ralph Beckett/Richard Kingscote), Her Majesty The Queen’s Seniority (William Haggas/Jim Crowley) and Koeman (Mick Channon/John Egan) have also been declared along with Just In Time (Alan King/Martin Dwyer), successful in 12-furlong handicaps on his three most recent starts.