Tom Lee's All-Weather Championships Blog & The Weekend's Best Bets


Unibet sponsor the £150,000 Three-Year-Old All-Weather Championships Sprint Conditions Stakes, part of a seven race bonanza to be played out at Lingfield Park on Good Friday, March 25th, and one horse now guaranteed a place in the line-up for the big day is Quatrieme Ami, after trainer Philip McBride's improver brought up a hat-trick by winning at Wolverhampton on Saturday.

The well-backed second favourite is now two from two at the Midlands track, after getting the better of old rival Sign Of The Kodiac, as well as favourite Ornate, in the Download The New Unibet Racing App Conditions Stakes, a fast-track qualifier for the big one in March.

After the race, with the trainer working on his tan overseas, it was left to son and assistant Sean to tell the press:

"He has run another cracking race and I feel he can improve again.

"He has put a fair bit of weight on since his previous victory and takes plenty of work.

"It is up to Dad but he will probably need a prep run before All-Weather Championships Finals day. We may give him a break now.

"Quatrieme Ami has always had ability but his nervous energy just had to be channelled the right way and with every run he has improved. He is quite all right."

Also of interest at Wolverhampton was the presence of a runner from the stable of National Hunt trainer Nicky Henderson, with 4/6 favourite Sign Of A Victory easily taking the concluding mile and a half maiden in the hands of Jamie Spencer, to bring up an 'across the card' double for the stable, after the earlier victory of O O Seven at Sandown Park. 

Sign Of A Victory may well have been using the all-weather as a prep for next weekend's Ladbroke Hurdle, for which Unibet will lay you 16/1 if you think he can follow up back in more familiar territory.

Heading into Tuesday's action at Southwell, a hot streak for Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor meant the Newmarket trainer had been successful with five of his previous eight runners, heightening interest in the stable's sole runner at Southwell, Yatwee.

Trends followers got it emphatically right on this occasion, as despite the presence of an odds on favourite in the shape of John Gosden's Always Welcome, Yatwee surged clear to win by four and a half lengths under Oisin Murphy.

It was a powerful display for a debutant, and he looks a horse to follow.

Also worth following is the action at Wolverhampton this Saturday, with seven races including the £20,000 32Red Conditions Stakes (8.45pm), another 'fast-track qualifier', this time for the Marathon on Good Friday.

Eight declarations should make for a good spectacle, and they include the Ralph Beckett-trained Moonrise Landing, a filly both on a hat-trick and yet to taste defeat on the all-weather.

She comfortably saw off the re-opposing Percy Veer at Kempton Park last month, winning by an eventual four and a half lengths.

She has a shout, but perhaps the evening's big race lies between the Godolphin duo Famous Kid and Anglophile, who clashed at Chelmsford in early November.

On that occasion the market favoured Famous Kid, sending him off the 13/8 favourite, with Charlie Appleby's Anglophile available at 9/4.

The prices suggested there might not be too much between them - how wrong they were!

Famous Kid delivered a demolition job, eased down to win in a canter by six lengths.

That makes him unbeaten on the domestic all-weather, and a similar performance (this time under Oisin Murphy) ought to be enough in this company.

Another fascinating race on the same card is the £45,000 Class 2 Coral Handicap (7.45pm), in which the weights are topped by last season's Easter Classic fifth Solar Deity.

It'll be tough for him to give weight away to some bang in-form rivals, such as the William Jarvis inmate Demonstration, as well as a trio of Godolphin representatives.

If a victory later in the evening for Famous Kid would enable Saeed bin Suroor to get one over on fellow Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby, then maybe this race provides a chance for Appleby to level the scores, with his aptly named Festive Fare getting the vote.

Unbeaten on the all weather and proven first time out, Festive Fare kept some ambitious company on the turf last spring and summer, getting to within two and a half lengths of subsequent Derby, Eclipse & Arc hero Golden Horn in Newmarket's Feilden Stakes.

He should be ready to roll, and the booking of Adam Kirby provides a further clue to the stable pecking order.

Good luck!

 

Saturday's best bets at Wolverhampton:

7.45 - Coral Handicap - 2 Festive Fare (win)

8.45 - 32Red Conditions Stakes - 3 Famous Kid (win)