The 2017/18 All-Weather Horse Of The Year, Victory Bond, makes his comeback in the £45,000 Listed British Stallion Studs EBF Hyde Stakes (6.40pm, 11 runners) at Kempton Park this Wednesday, November 21st.
Run over a mile, the Polytrack contest is a Fast-Track Qualifier for the £150,000 Sun Bets All-Weather Mile Championship at Lingfield Park on All-Weather Championships Finals Day, Good Friday, April 19th, 2019.
Victory Bond (William Haggas/James Doyle) was the leading money earner during the 2017/18 All-Weather Championships, thanks largely to his victory in the £200,000 Betway Easter Classic over 10 furlongs at Lingfield Park on Good Friday.
The five-year-old also took second in two Listed contests at Lingfield Park, most notably the Betway Winter Derby Trial, and was the impressive four-length winner of conditions race at Wolverhampton. He has not raced since finishing sixth in the Listed Paradise Stakes over a mile on turf at Ascot in May.
Flaming Spear (Dean Ivory/Robert Winston), 11th in the Balmoral Handicap at Ascot on his latest start on October 20th, is the highest-rated of the 11 runners with a mark of 109. He posted an excellent performance when defying top-weight to win a valuable seven-furlong heritage handicap at Goodwood in August.
Flaming Spear has won his last two starts on the All-Weather, capturing a pair of handicaps on Tapeta at Newcastle during the 2016/17 All-Weather Championships.
Ivory said: “Flaming Spear is fit and well after his run in the Balmoral.
“I would like to think he will run a big enough race, but you can never be completely sure as he can be a bit troublesome in the stalls.
“A mile might be stretching him, though it’s hard to say because he has won over a mile a couple of times.
“He has been lightly-raced during the summer with a view to running on the All-Weather and seeing where we are with him. If he was to win on Wednesday, myself and the owners will have to put a game plan together.”
Hathal (Jamie Osborne/Nicola Currie) was rated 113 in his pomp after landing the Superior Mile at Haydock Park in 2016. He has had three starts for new connections in 2018, with the pick of those efforts coming when second in a mile Listed race at Sandown Park in September.
King Power Racing is represented by Straight Right (Andrew Balding/Oisin Murphy). He captured a valuable seven-furlong handicap at Newcastle in February and recently returned from a gelding operation to win conditions race over the same distance at Chelmsford City.
Silver Quartz (Edward Greatrex) has his first start for Archie Watson, having been with Hugo Palmer. He was the ready winner of a class two mile handicap at Ascot.
Newmarket trainer Stuart Williams is doubly represented by new recruit Via Via (Richard Kingscote) and Pactolus (Fran Berry), as is Richard Hannon who saddles Tangled (Sean Levey) and course scorer Peak Princess (Rossa Ryan).
The Mick Channon-trained pair of Summer Icon (Charlie Bishop) and Pattie (Gerald Mosse), both successful on the All-Weather, complete the 11 runners.
Also on the card, talented stayers Higher Power (James Fanshawe/George Wood), Lord George (James Fanshawe/Oisin Murphy) and Watersmeet (Mark Johnston/Joe Fanning) are among eight runners in the £25,000 32Red Handicap (7.10pm) over two miles. Lord George and Watersmeet finished second and third respectively behind Funny Kid in the £150,000 Betway All-Weather Marathon Championship on Good Friday.