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Crossed Baton And Judicial Strike In Fast-Track Qualifiers

Championship News
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16 November 2019

Enable's lead horse Crossed Baton booked his place on Finals Day with a smooth success in the £37,000 Listed Betway Churchill Stakes (2.45pm) over 10 furlongs, the first of two Polytrack Fast-Track Qualifiers at Lingfield Park on Saturday, November 16.

The four-year-old, who captured a G2 contest in France last year, is now guaranteed a free start in the feature £200,000 Betway Easter Classic over the same course and distance on Good Friday, April 10.

Frankie Dettori took the ride on Crossed Baton (9/4) after stablemate and hot favourite Lord North was declared a non-runner in the morning. 

Crossed Baton jumped awkwardly from the gates and Dettori was forced to anchor his mount at the back of the six runners. The duo closed on the leaders approaching the home turn and tagged onto the back of the improving Kuwait Currency (Richard Hannon/Sean Levey, 11/4) into the straight. 

Kuwait Currency struck the front with a furlong to race, but Crossed Baton was quick to cover the move on his outside and ran on strongly to score by two lengths going away. Kuwait Currency was a clear second, with two and a half lengths back to Pactolus (Stuart Williams/Richard Kingscote, 8/1) in third. The 6/4 favourite Caradoc (Ed Walker/Kieran Shoemark) finished fourth. 

Crossed Baton's success was the concluding leg of a treble for champion trainer John Gosden, following the victories of Alrajaa and Scentasia earlier on the card. 

Gosden said: "Crossed Baton is one of Enable's main lead horses. He can take her along at a nice pace and then she says 'goodbye'. I think he was completely shocked today that he sat last and then swung around them!

"Crossed Baton has got the ability. I ran him at Epsom the last twice, which probably wasn't the smartest move in the world as that isn't his track.

"He is a grand horse and has a very important role in the stable. We will see how everything unfolds and what our plans are. His number one job is being a lead horse but it would be lovely to bring him back here if he's in good form and Enable isn't in fast work at the time."


Dettori added: "The plan was to make the running! But he jumped awkwardly and nearly ripped my boot off. I had to switch to plan B, ride him for luck, and fortunately he came good for me. 

"This poor fella has to see Enable's bum every day, so it is nice to get his head in front for once."

 

A competitive renewal of the £37,000 Listed Betway Golden Rose Stakes (3.15pm, 12 runners) went the way of 20/1 shot Judicial (Julie Camacho/Callum Rodriguez), who flew home widest of all to score decisively by a length and three-quarters. 

Judicial flies home to take the Listed Betway Golden Rose Stakes

The six-furlong contest was a Fast-Track Qualifier and Judicial now receives a free and automatic place in the £150,000 Betway All-Weather Sprint Championship over the same distance on Good Friday.

Judicial, a G3 winner on turf at Sandown Park last year, was carrying a 3lb penalty as a result of his victory in the Listed Beverley Bullet Sprint in August and the seven-year-old had not raced on the All-Weather since April, 2017.

Assistant trainer Steve Brown, who led Judicial down to the start, said: "It looked good from a distance at the side of the course!


"Obviously, well done to Callum because it is tricky from stall 12 and takes great jockeyship from there. We just had an inkling that if they went fast, it might suit him because he does have a turn of foot, as we have seen in the past. It will be interesting to see the sectionals because it looked pretty special up the straight. 

"He has been immense for us and the Elite Racing Club. I am thrilled with him. He is not a horse who appreciates being over raced, so we are selective of our targets. We probably have not been selective enough sometimes and next year it will be G3 and Listed races only over a stiff five or easy six.

"The intention of course now is to come back here for Good Friday. He will have a rest now and, provided all goes well, you will see him then."

Callum Rodriguez said: "Judicial was grand. They went a nice even pace the whole way. He travelled well stepping up to six furlongs and picked up well in the straight. 

"I think it was a confidence thing as, once he went passed one or two still going well, I kicked off the bend and he took off."

 

Hamdan Al Maktoum's Alrajaa (John Gosden/Jim Crowley) is another horse with Finals Day on his agenda after posting an impressive victory in the £19,000 Bombardier Golden Beer Handicap (1.00pm, 10 runners) over a mile.

The progressive three-year-old, sent off the 8/11 favourite on the back of dominant victories at Chelmsford City and Kempton Park, is now unbeaten in three starts on the All-Weather.

Gosden said: "He has improved this boy. He lost his way a little but has come back very well on his last three starts, and I could not be more thrilled with the way he quickened off the bend.

"He is on an upward curve, as he had a 7lb rise to contend with today. He just confused himself early on in life and could not quite work out if he wanted to be a racehorse or not, but he has definitely worked it out now. 

"He is a horse we will freshen up now and then we could look at the programme here to see if we are good enough for the Good Friday races."

 

Scentasia (John Gosden/Frankie Dettori) justified strong market support to win the rearranged £37,500 British Stallion Studs EBF Gillies Fillies' Stakes (2.10pm, 14 runners). The 10-furlong contest had been switched to Lingfield Park following the abandonment of Doncaster's fixture on November 9 and therefore does not form part of the All-Weather Championships.

Scentasia scores in the British Stallion Studs EBF Gillies Fillies' Stakes

Scentasia (11/8 fav) only needed to be pushed out to win by a length and three-quarters from French raider Velma Valento (Christophe Ferland/Pierre-Charles Boudot, 14/1). 

The Cape Cross filly carried a 3lb penalty following her victory in the Listed Ladbrokes Home Of The Odds Boost EBF Fleur De Lys Fillies' Stakes over a mile at the track on October 31.

 

Gosden said: "I think about six of them decided that they wanted to make the running! And the pace they went in the early part of the race cost the leader, who finished out the back. 

"Scentasia was keen as she tried to get a position, but Frankie managed to settle her. I had worried about the mile and a quarter, but Frankie is confident that the trip is perfect for her. 

"She is an improving filly and when she ran over a mile and a quarter before [at Newmarket, finished 13th], there was no pace and she pulled. I am glad we ran here as I was concerned about the trip beforehand. 

"We will back off her now and come back in the spring. She will be comfortable over a mile and a mile and a quarter when she can use her big stride.

"It is nice the way she has improved later in the season and she has won here today carrying a penalty, which is never easy."

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