The All-Weather Championships continue with two valuable contests at Kempton Park and Lingfield Park on Wednesday, December 11 which have both attracted very strong fields.
Kempton Park stages the richest race of the day, the £70,000 Betdaq - The Sports Betting Exchange Handicap (6.40pm). Run over 11 furlongs, this race is the final of the London Middle Distance Series.
A maximum field of 14 is set to go to post, with the weights headed by Open Eagle (David OMeara) on 9st 10lb, who was third in the Betfred November Handicap at Doncaster last month.
Troopingthecolour and Zamoyski (both Steve Gollings) as well as Halfsin (Marco Botti), Shavansky (Rod Millman) and Jazz Master (Luca Cumani) all won qualifying races in the series on their most recent appearances and a highly-competitive affair looks guaranteed.
Another horse to have won a qualifier last time out was Im Fraam Govan (George Baker), who was last seen out when successful at Kempton Park on October 9. The five-year-old races in the colours of former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
Baker said today: This has been the plan for a while and I am very happy with Im Fraam Govan.
You always worry about a horse in December because it is the end of a long, hard season, but we gave him a bit of a breather after his last run. He didnt do an awful lot when he got to the front last time and it was probably closer than it needed to be.
Its obviously hugely competitive, but its a nice pot to be going for at this time of year and he does seem in very good order, so it would be good to put another trophy in Sir Alexs cabinet.
Earlier in the day Lingfield Park stages the six-furlong £45,000 Compare Bookmakers At Bookmakers.Co.Uk Handicap (2.30pm) for which a field of 12 lines up.
Group One-placed Hoof It (Mick Easterby) is at the top of the handicap on 9st 9lb and will be making his debut on the all-weather in the six-furlong contest.
One of the real stars of the all-weather season so far has been Forest Edge (David Evans) who has won his last three starts including Class Two events at Wolverhampton on November 8 and at Lingfield Park on December 4.
Lancelot Du Lac (Dean Ivory) finished a close third in the Listed Best Odds At Bookmakers.co.uk Golden Rose Stakes at Lingfield Park on November 16 and followed up in good style when taking a Class Two handicap at Kempton Park on November 27.
Durack considering Finals Day for impressive winner Litigant
Seamus Durack is considering All-Weather Championships Finals Day for Litigant after his impressive three and a half length success in the 32Red Handicap over just short of a mile and six furlongs at Wolverhampton on Saturday.
It was the five-year-olds second start in Britain following a promising second on his first start for two and a half years in an 11-furlong handicap at Kempton Park on November 21. He was previously trained in France by Andre Fabre where he won two of his three starts.
Durack commented: It was a good enough performance from Litigant considering it was his second run back after over two years off the track.
He was running back quite quickly and they can run a bit flat second time back after a break. He probably didnt look to have as much zest as he did the time before.
I was hoping he would win because it was a nice run last time and he obviously had a good record in France, winning twice from three starts. He has got a bit of ability all right, but we dont know how good he is because we havent put the gun to his head at home.
He will definitely have a little rest now and then we will weigh up our options in the new year and see what is left for him on the all-weather. If we give him one more run on the all-weather, he will be eligible for Good Friday and that is something we will have to think about. I havent sat down with the owner yet so plans are up in the air.
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 or by winning one of 16 specially-designated races during the season.