A new European Breeders’ Fund-backed £20,000 conditions race on Fibresand at Southwell this Friday, has attracted eight runners, with five rated 90 or more.
The Betway EBF Buccaneer Conditions Race (1pm) over a mile and a half is one of the most valuable All-Weather races of the year at the Nottinghamshire course and includes the 102-rated three-year-old My Lord And Master, trained by William Haggas and ridden by Liam Jones, who is making his All-Weather debut.
My Lord And Master ran well in Derby trials earlier this year, filling the runner-up spot in Listed races at Epsom Downs and Chester, but came home 12th on his latest appearance in Doncaster’s £70,000 Marathonbet November Handicap – a 23-runner race in which consistent six-year-old Not So Sleepy (Hughie Morrison/Graham Lee, rated 97) finished second.
The strong line-up for Betway EBF Buccaneer Conditions Race on Friday also includes Corelli (John Gosden/Robert Havlin, rated 94). The three-year-old colt won on his only All-Weather outing when taking a Tapeta novice race at Wolverhampton 12 months ago and has his first start since finishing third in the Listed Betfred Derby Trial on turf at Lingfield Park in May.
The form of that race has been boosted considerably since, with winner Knight To Behold annexing a contest at Deauville, France, and the second Kew Gardens going on to glory in the Grand Prix de Paris and the William Hill St Leger, the final British Classic of the year which is run at Doncaster.
Busy Street scored over the course and distance at Southwell on his Flat debut in December, 2015, and the consistent six-year-old has won or made the frame on all six of his starts since joining Michael Appleby in May, going up 15lb in the process to a rating of 90.
The son of Champs Elysees was the decisive winner of a handicap over nine furlongs on turf at Yarmouth in August and returns to the All-Weather after coming home third behind Morning Wonder (Kevin Ryan/Josephine Gordon, rated 92) in a 12-furlong Doncaster handicap, the Vertem Very Different Stockbrokers Handicap.
Southwell’s leading trainer Appleby, who is based near Oakham in Rutland, reported today: “Busy Street is in fine order and this race is something that we have had in our minds for a while.
“He is a very versatile horse trip wise, having won over nine furlongs in the past, and I think this year he could even stay one mile and six furlongs
“He has done really well for us since joining the yard, improving around a stone, and ran well at Doncaster on his latest start
“He has won at Southwell before, so the surface should hopefully not be a problem, and hopefully he can run well.”
All-Weather specialist Victoria Drummond (Mark Johnston/Franny Norton), a three-year-old Sea The Stars filly, also boasts winning form over the course and distance, having scored by a runaway 12 lengths in the Betway Handicap on her penultimate start.
Southwell and the EBF worked with the British Horseracing Authority to create this new conditions race.
Mark Clayton, Executive Director of Southwell Racecourse, commented: “We are absolutely delighted with how this new race has worked out in terms of entries and runners, with some really good horses set to line-up on Friday.
“The EBF are fantastic supporters across the ARC group, and we’ve worked closely with them and BHA to offer this unique opportunity over a mile and a half on Fibresand.”
Rachael Gowland, Marketing & Communications Manager British EBF, explained: “The British EBF are constantly working with the BHA to pioneer new races that are felt to be of benefit to and enhance the diversity of the race programme.
“The advent of this new conditions race at Southwell over a mile and a half is a perfect example of that and we are delighted it has been well received and supported by trainers.”