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Classy Field Assembled For Matchbook Floodlit Stakes

Championship News
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02 November 2019

The All-Weather Championships continue at Kempton Park on Monday, November 4, when the highlight is the £50,000 Listed Matchbook Floodlit Stakes (4.00pm, seven runners) over 12 furlongs.

Established in 2006, the Polytrack contest has been won by G1 scorers Spanish Moon, Mastery, Prince Bishop and Pether's Moon. More recently, Grendisar took the spoils in 2014 before going on to be crowned 2016 All-Weather Horse of the Year, thanks to victories in the G3 Winter Derby and £200,000 Easter Classic on All-Weather Championships Finals Day, both at Lingfield Park.

Young Rascal (William Haggas/Tom Marquand) is one of four runners in this year's race to have won at G3 level or above. The four-year-old, who has not raced since two substandard efforts in the spring, captured three G3 races in 2018, including a narrow defeat of Dee Ex Bee in the Chester Vase.

Champion trainer John Gosden landed the 2016 running with Western Hymn and the Newmarket handler's two runners are led by Royal Line (Robert Havlin), winner of the G3 September Stakes over the course and distance on his penultimate start. The five-year-old has since finished third in the G2 QIPCO Long Distance Cup over two miles at Ascot on October 19. Royal Line is pictured above after victory in the November Handicap at Doncaster Racecourse.

Godolphin's 2011 Floodlit Stakes victor Prince Bishop went on to win the G1 Dubai World Cup in 2015. Sheikh Mohammed's operation is represented by G2 scorer Loxley (Charlie Appleby/Adam Kirby), who returned to form when just touched off in the Listed Godolphin Stakes at Newmarket on September 27, in which Weekender (John Gosden/Harry Bentley) finished third.

Sprit Of Appin (Martin Dwyer), one of two fillies in the field, comes into the race at the top of her game. Trained by Brian Meehan, she took third in the Listed Galtres Stakes at York's Ebor Festival, prior to a brave front-running success in the G3 Princess Royal Stakes at Newmarket on September 27.

Meehan said today: "Spirit Of Appin is in good shape. It was obviously a shame she could not run last week when Newbury was called off, but we are excited to be running her on Monday.

"I was delighted with her performance at Newmarket. She has been a real improver this year and hopefully she will be able to continue that into next year as well.

"It looks a good race, but our filly is in great order."

South African import Last Winter (Louis Steward) is an interesting runner for Sir Michael Stoute. The six-year-old was placed at G1 level in South Africa, though needs to bounce back after finishing sixth on his UK debut in the Listed Fortune Stakes over a mile at Sandown Park in September.

Sandown Park handicap winner Mina Vagante (Hugo Palmer/Josephine Gordon) completes the field. 

Kempton Park's eight-race card starts at 1.30pm and ends at 5.00pm. Click here to purchase tickets.

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