The two WIN & YOURE IN contests at Lingfield Park this Saturday, November 16, have attracted high-quality and competitive fields.
Both winners of the two Listed races will automatically qualify and gain free entry for Europes richest All-Weather raceday, the £1-million All-Weather Championships Finals, at Lingfield Park, on Good Friday, April 18.
A maximum field of 12 goes to post for the £37,000 Best Odds At bookmakers.co.uk Golden Rose Stakes (3.10pm) over six furlongs, which offers a place in the £150,000 bookmakers.co.uk Sprint Final over the same course and distance on All-Weather Championships Finals Day.
Several notable sprinters line up including this seasons Group One Haydock Sprint Cup fourth Hawkeyethenoo (Jim Goldie), 2011 Group One Prix de lAbbaye winner Tangerine Trees (Bryan Smart) and Tiddliwinks (Kevin Ryan), successful in the 2012 Group Two Duke of York Stakes.
Trainer Dean Ivory is enjoying his best ever year with 35 winners and over £300,000 in prize money. He will be represented in the Best Odds At bookmakers.co.uk Golden Rose Stakes by Lancelot du Lac, who will be ridden by Jim Crowley.
The three-year-old son of Shamardal was in tremendous form over the summer, with wins in competitive handicaps at York (twice) and Newmarket. He disappointed on his latest start at Doncaster in October but Ivory believes the ground was to blame on that occasion and is looking forward to stepping his charge up to Listed company.
Ivory, based at Radlett in Hertfordshire, said today: It was down to the ground last time out and that is the only excuse. The ground was diabolical and Lancelot du Lac isnt a horse that will go in it at all.
He hasnt run on the all-weather before so I am a bit nervous about that, but we do train on the all-weather at home so I would like to think he can handle it well.
He was favourite for the Coral Sprint at York and we missed the cut by one. I really fancied him that day and the ground would have been ideal. Then when we did run him next time at Doncaster it all went wrong. Hence, that is why he didnt run in the Wentworth Stakes at Doncaster last Saturday as the ground was not right for him.
He worked nicely this morning and I am very pleased with him. It is just a question of whether he can handle the surface on Saturday. I think he definitely is good enough for Listed class, although in this sort of grade it would have been nice if he had run around the track before.
I am not too worried about his draw (10) as he likes to come from off the pace. I would have preferred to have been drawn in six, seven or eight but Jim is a very good jockey and well just have to see how he manages it.
It was not originally my game at all to him keep going on the all-weather throughout the winter but it is a possibility now with the nicer races around.
I guess if he handles the surface on Saturday and there are some nicer races to be had, we could have a look as the ground probably wouldnt suit him on the turf in the spring. We could bring him back later to the turf next year.
So, if he were to win on Saturday and qualify for the finals, we would have to think about what we do in between.
Also featuring among the dozen starters for the Listed six-furlong event are Godolphins Listed-placed Hoodna (Saeed bin Suroor) and last years winner Ballista (Tom Dascombe).
The other WIN & YOURE IN contest on Saturday is the 10-furlong £37,000 coral.co.uk Churchill Stakes (2.35pm). The winner of this race will gain a place in the £200,000 Coral Middle Distance Final, run over the same course and distance on All-Weather Championships Finals Day.
A field of 10 for the coral.co.uk Churchill Stakes is headed by Highland Knight (Andrew Balding) who was successful in the Group Three Darley Stakes at Newmarket in October, when he prevailed by a short-head from the re-opposing Tales Of Grimn (Richard Fahey).
John Gosden is represented by Listed-placed Dick Doughtywylie, owned by his wife Rachel Hood, while Sugar Boy (Marco Botti) won the Group Three Classic Trial at Sandown Park back in April. Other interesting contenders include the Polytrack specialist Prince Alzain (Gerard Butler), a winner at Wolverhampton on November 7, and Bancnuanaheireann (Michael Appleby), who was successful in a competitive nine-furlong handicap at Newmarket last month.
As well as by taking a WIN & YOURE IN race, horses qualify for the six championship contests on All-Weather Championships Finals Day by running in a minimum of three races at Britains All-Weather tracks - three owned by ARC, Lingfield Park, Southwell and Wolverhampton, and The Jockey Clubs Kempton Park - between October 26 and April 12.
Picture: LANCELOT DU LAC ridden by Ryan Moore wins The Coopers Marquees Stakes York 15 May 2013. Steven Cargill / Racingfotos.com