Last season’s champion All-Weather trainer Charlie Appleby is set to well-represented at Wolverhampton on Saturday, December 12, with Anglophile, Festive Fare and Winslow due to run on a valuable eight-race card.
More than £100,000 prize money is on offer throughout the evening, with Anglophile having been declared for the £20,000 32Red Conditions Stakes (8.45pm) over an extended two miles.
Trainer Charlie Appleby Photo: John Simpson
The Tapeta contest is a Fast-Track Qualifier for the £150,000 32Red All-Weather Marathon Championships over two miles on Polytrack at Lingfield Park on Good Friday, March 25.
Anglophile (Adam Kirby) was first or second on all six of his appearances during the 2014/2015 All-Weather Championships, with three victories including a facile success in a two-mile conditions race at Lingfield Park in January.
The four-year-old was beaten a head in the 32Red All-Weather Marathon Championships on Good Friday and also filled the runner-up spot on his only subsequent start, when finding Famous Kid (Saeed bin Suroor/Oisin Murphy) six lengths too strong in a 14-furlong handicap at Chelmsford City on November 6.
Anglophile in action: Photo John Simpson
Godolphin trainer Appleby commented: “We purposely gave Anglophile the summer off and were pleased with his re-appearance at Chelmsford City.
“We have 8lb to find on the ratings with Famous Kid, who won very well that day, but Anglophile has certainly stepped forward since that run. We have a fair bridge to gap but I am confident that our horse will put up a good performance again.
“He is a typical Dubawi in that he is getting better with age. He is definitely a stronger individual compared to last season’s championships and is a hardened campaigner now. The trip and conditions will be no problem and I feel that we head to Wolverhampton with a good chance.”
A field of eight for the 32Red Conditions Stakes also includes recent Kempton Park handicap winner Moonrise Landing (Ralph Beckett/Graham Gibbons) and The Twisler (Jane Chapple-Hyam/Jamie Spencer), who captured a Listed race at Goodwood in August.
Entihaa (Alan Swinbank/Ben Curtis) and Sunblazer (Kim Bailey/George Baker) have both scored over the course and distance, with Percy Veer (Sylvester Kirk/Jack Mitchell) and Longshadow (Jason Ward/Luke Morris) also set to line up.
Three-year-olds Festive Fare (Adam Kirby) and Winslow (Martin Lane) are due to run in the richest race of the night, the £45,000 Coral Handicap (7.45pm) over an extended nine furlongs, which has attracted a high-class field of nine.Festive Fare is unbeaten in two appearances on the All-Weather, having posted a pair of wins over a mile at Kempton Park and Lingfield Park at the start of 2015, and was beaten two and a half lengths by Golden Horn when coming home fourth in a Newmarket Listed race in April.
Festive Fare winning a handicap at Kempton
Photo: John Simpson
The son of Teofilo was fifth in the Group Two King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot and is set to make his first appearance since finishing fourth in a Haydock Park handicap over 10 and a half furlongs on August 8. Winslow readily beat subsequent Norfolk Stakes winner Baitha Alga in a Haydock Park maiden in May, 2014, but the son of Distorted Humor has been restricted to just two starts since.He stayed on well to take fourth in an extended mile handicap at Wolverhampton on his first outing for more than 15 months on November 28.
Appleby added: “Festive Fare was two from two on the All-Weather last winter, when he looked that he was going the right way, but his turf form has left a little bit to be desired. He has been gelded and I have been pleased with his work. He is a horse that we thought a lot of during the spring and, hopefully, a switch back to the All-Weather will see him return to the horse that we thought he could be.
“Once we realised that it wasn’t happening for Festive Fare on the turf, we gave him a good break and structured his training for a winter campaign. It could be a big shout now, but we are hoping that he might be a horse for the Winter Derby and the Easter Classic.
“Time will tell whether he is up to that level but those are the sort of targets we are looking at as things stand. He is fit enough to run well on Saturday – he will find a couple of pounds for the run – and we will be disappointed if he is not in the first three.
“We were delighted with Winslow’s reappearance at Wolverhampton. We liked him as a two-year-old but he has had his setbacks. He has come on for his first run for more than a year but the step up in distance is a bit of an unknown. We are hoping that we might see further improvement with the step up to this trip.
“Generally, I wouldn’t run two horses in a race like this but they have completely different running styles. Festive Fare will be ridden positively and Winslow will be ridden conservatively to get the trip.”