Lancelot Du Lac is on course for a clash with Pretend in the £45,000 Listed Betway Best Odds Guaranteed Plus Cleves Stakes (2.00pm, 12 entries) on Polytrack at Lingfield Park on Saturday, February 4.
Lancelot Du Lac (Dean Ivory) is returning to six furlongs, having produced a good weight-carrying performance under regular rider Robert Winston to win a five-furlong handicap on Polytrack at Chelmsford City on January 5. That was his first start since finishing 12th in a Group Three contest on turf at Sandown Park in July.
The seven-year-old has a 50 per cent strike rate from 12 starts on the All-Weather and was runner-up to Alben Star in the £150,000 All-Weather Sprint Championships at Lingfield Park on Good Friday last year.
Trainer Dean Ivory, who trains at Radlett in Hertfordshire, said today: “Lancelot Du Lac is very well. He won very convincingly at Chelmsford as we know. He had been off for a while before that but I wouldn’t say he needed the run.
“It looks a hard race on Saturday. You could almost say it is the final given the quality and depth in there. A lot of will depend on the draw I would think. It could be the deciding the factor and, as we know, you need a bit of luck in the run around Lingfield.
“I am aiming for Good Friday. The idea after this is to go for the Betway Hever Stakes [Lingfield Park, February 25] after this, which will be his third qualifying run, and then on to Finals Day.
“He could have another run somewhere as there is a nice gap between the Hever and the final. I will have to have a look as there are not too many races for a horse like him. We will let the horse tell us if he needs another outing.”
Godolphin’s Pretend (Charlie Appleby) is the highest-rated among the entries with a mark of 111, and looked as good as ever when successful on his comeback in a six-furlong conditions race on Polytrack at Kempton Park on January 11.
Other entries include Gracious John (David Evans), who was placed at G2 level on turf last season, G1 Falmouth Stakes fifth Ashadihan (Kevin Ryan), winner of the G3 Chartwell Fillies’ Stakes at the course in May, and progressive six-year-old Boom The Groom (Tony Carroll). Justice Good (David Elsworth) and Mythmaker (Bryan Smart) could also participate.
Lingfield Park’s seven-race card on Saturday also features the £45,000 Listed Betway Winter Derby Trial Stakes (3.05pm) over 10 furlongs, a Fast-Track Qualfier for the £200,000 Betway Easter Classic over the same course and distance on All-Weather Championships Finals Day, Good Friday, April 14.
Among the 12 entries are 2016 All-Weather Horse Of The Year Grendisar (Marco Botti), impressive G3 September Stakes victor Arab Spring (Sir Michael Stoute) and Decorated Knight (Roger Charlton), a G3 scorer on turf at Leopardstown on his latest start in July.
Racing gets underway at 12.50pm and runs through until 4.15pm.