Tarooq landed todays feature £45,000 Compare Bookmakers At bookmakers.co.uk Handicap at Lingfield Park, setting a new course record of 1m 8.75s for the six-furlong course. All of the first six horses home bettered the previous track record of 1m 9.42s set by Valbchek on November 16.
Making his second appearance for North Yorkshire trainer David Barron, the seven-year-old was settled eighth of the 12-strong field before being delivered with a challenge two furlongs from home by Graham Gibbons.
The winner, returned at 7/1, took the lead entering the final furlong and ran on well to repel the strong late challenge of Scottish raider Hawkeyethenoo (5/1) by a length and a half, with 5/2 favourite Lancelot Du Lac a further neck back in third.
The son of War Chant was winning for the fourth time on the Polytrack at Lingfield Park.
Graham Gibbons said: They played into his hands as they went very, very quick. I just stayed on the inside. I got a nice run round and he has done it well.
I knew I wouldnt be able to be anywhere else from where he was drawn (4). He takes a while to warm up but he knows his way around.
I knew he would come on from his first run for us because we hadnt done a lot with him. He is quite smart around here.
I wouldnt be surprised if he kept going on the All-Weather. Its up for David to decide.
This was another step up for him. I dont think he has to be tucked up that he was today, it was just the way the race unfurled for him.
Tarooq is now eligible for the new £1-million All-Weather Championships Final Day, having previously run on October 26 at Wolverhampton and at Kempton Park on November 21 (on his first start for Barron).
Horses qualify for the six championship contests on the new £1-million All-Weather Championships Finals Day (Good Friday, April 18, 2014) by winning a specified Fast Track Qualifier or 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.
The next Sprint Fast Track Qualifier for horses aged four plus is the £37,000 Listed Compare Bookmakers At bookmakers.co.uk Cleves Stakes over six furlongs at Lingfield Park on Saturday, February 22.
The Sprint All-Weather Championships final is the £150,000 bookmakers.co.uk Stakes over six furlongs at Lingfield Park on Good Friday.
Image: Jon Hoy
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NOTES TO EDITORS:
1. Arena Racing Company (ARC) owns three of the four All-Weather tracks in Britain at Lingfield Park, Southwell and Wolverhampton and has injected more than £2 million extra into prize money during the new All-Weather Championships which run from October to April and include Kempton Park. The All-Weather Championships climax in the richest All-Weather card in Europe which will be held at Lingfield Park on Good Friday (April 18, 2014) when £1 million in prize money will be available. The Championships consist of six different categories, with races for Three-Year-Olds, Fillies & Mares, Marathon, Sprint, Mile and Middle Distance. There are 59 upgraded races during the www.awchampionships.co.uk
2. The All-Weather Championships Finals Day is ranked in the top 10 Flat total prize fund racedays, and its positioning on Good Friday is expected to see a significant increase in Levy yields.
3. The All-Weather Championships are supported by partners Ladbrokes, bookmakers.co.uk, Coral and 32Red.com, plus media partner At The Races.
4. Arena Racing Company is the largest racecourse operator in the UK, hosting nearly 40% of the fixture list. Fifteen racecourses make up the group including Bath, Brighton, Chepstow, Doncaster, Fontwell Park, Great Yarmouth, Lingfield Park, Newcastle, Royal Windsor, Sedgefield, Southwell, Uttoxeter, Wolverhampton and Worcester. The Group also manages Ffos Las in West Wales.