James Bethell is aiming Fab Lolly for a second tilt at the £150,000 32Red.com Fillies’ And Mares Championships at Lingfield Park on Good Friday after her encouraging return to action at Wolverhampton earlier this month. The five-year-old was having her first start since finishing seventh to Living The Life on All-Weather Championships Finals Day on Good Friday, 2014, and kept on nicely into third behind Don’t Be.
Bethell said: “I was very pleased with Fab Lolly at Wolverhampton and she has come out of it well.”I thought she could have been second quite easily but, because it was her first run for 290 days, Joe (Fanning) didn’t want to give her too hard a race.
“The plan is to get her qualified for the fillies and mares race on finals day. I think she can do better than she did last year because she chipped a bone in her fetlock during that race. I thought she should have definitely finished in the money but for the injury.
“We need to get two more runs into her before the final. There is a handicap at Lingfield on February 20 or a Fast-Track Qualifier the day after, but I think I would prefer the handicap option and then we will see after that.”
The North Yorkshire-based handler is also responsible for Rich Again, who has been one of the most prolific performers during the All-Weather Championships.The six-year-old has won his last four starts, all at Wolverhampton, and was last seen out recording a decisive three-quarter length victory over Time And Place in a six-furlong handicap on January 29.
Bethell added: “Rich Again is very well. The obvious race for him is a £25,000 handicap at Wolverhampton on Lincoln Trial day (Saturday, March 7), but there are also a couple of races at Lingfield that we will look at.
“He has always been a talented horse but has had quite a lot of niggling problems over the years. This year, he has stayed very sound and obviously loves that new Tapeta surface at Wolverhampton.
“He has won at Lingfield but part of the track is downhill and I don’t think that is ideal for him.
“It will be difficult to get into that sprint final. I think we will try and be the most successful horse on the All-Weather. Sir Mark Prescott’s mare Don’t Be currently tops the standings with five wins, so we are only one behind.I think Rich Again can win another race. The handicapper put him up 4lb for his win the other day, which I thought was fair.”
A prize of £10,000 will be awarded to the horse that accumulates the most wins during the All-Weather Championships, the Winning Most Horse award.