Kempton Park stages a seven-race card) tomorrow, with the first race at 4.30pm and last at 7.30pm, headed by the £50,000 Listed 32Red Floodlit Stakes (6.00pm, 10 runners), during the sixth All-Weather Championships.
The mile and a half Polytrack contest boasts an impressive roll of honour, thanks to winners Spanish Moon (2008), Mastery (2010), Prince Bishop (2011) and Pether’s Moon (2013) prevailing in recent years.
All-Weather specialist Grendisar took the 2014 renewal and went on to be crowned All-Weather Horse of the Year the following season.
Grendisar’s trainer, Newmarket-based Marco Botti, is set to be represented this year by Crowned Eagle (Gerald Mosse).
The four-year-old son of Oasis Dream landed the valuable Rosebery Handicap over a furlong less on Kempton Park’s Polytrack surface in March and went on to run well throughout the turf season, most recently coming home the two-length runner-up to Thundering Blue in 12-furlong Stockholm Cup at Bro Park, Sweden.
Botti revealed: “Crowned Eagle is in good form.
“He has matured and is stronger this year. This trip suits him and he ran very well when second to Thundering Blue in the Stockholm Cup at Bro Park, having been up with the pace.
“He is still open to more improvement and has won on the All-Weather at Kempton Park before.
“We are looking forward to the race.”
Southampton FC forward Charlie Austin, co-founder of owner Excel Racing, added: “Marco is happy with Crowned Eagle.
“The horse has been in great form at home and this looks a competitive race, but one we should hopefully go close in.
“This season Crowned Eagle has been superb for us. We picked him up for 25,000 guineas this time last year, he is now rated 110 and only got beat on the line at York in May when giving 7lb to Hamada.
“He went over to Bro Park and came second, beaten two lengths, to Thundering Blue. It would be a nice way to end the season with a Listed win under his belt.”
Also set to go to post in the 32Red Floodlit Stakes is seven-year-old grey Watersmeet (Mark Johnston/Joe Fanning) who is a real All-Weather specialist, having won 11 of 23 synthetic surface starts The majority of his wins have been over further than tomorrow’s distance, with his one Kempton Park success coming in a two-mile conditions race in February, 2018. The Yorkshire-trained contender last ran at York in August on turf.
Godolphin-owned four-year-old Atty Persse (Roger Charlton/James Doyle) recorded the biggest win of his career in the 2017 King George V Handicap at Royal Ascot. He was placed in the first two of his three starts so far in 2018, but disappointed on his most recent outing, a 14-furlong handicap at Newmarket in August. This is his first experience of All-Weather Racing.
Five-year-old mare Architecture (Hugo Palmer/Jason Watson) finished runner-up in two 2016 fillies’ Classics, the Investec Oaks over 12 furlongs at Epsom Downs and the Irish Oak, both over 12 furlongs, but has not raced for over a year.
Trainer Brendan Powell has his string in fine form and is represented by Kasperenko (Martin Harley). The four-year-old recorded his most valuable success on his penultimate start when taking a Polytrack handicap over an extended 13 furlongs at Chelmsford City in August.
The two three-year-olds in the line-up include the son of Shamardal Podemos (Ralph Beckett/Harry Bentley) who is stepping up in class, but has a tremendous record at Kempton Park, winning two of his three starts at the venue including on his latest two starts. Those two victories both came in three-year-old handicaps over 11 furlongs in September and October.
Mystic Meg (Rab Havlin) is a second runner for Newmarket trainer Hugo Palmer and the three-year-old Camelot filly scored in a Yarmouth handicap on turf two starts ago, but disappointed on Polytrack on November 1st.