Tyrrhenian Sea Heads Varian Contenders

Championship News

13 April 2022

Leading fancy Tyrrhenian Sea bids to continue his exemplary course record in the £200,000 Betway Easter Classic (4.45pm), the feature race at Newcastle on Finals Day, April 15.


A total of 60 runners have been declared across the six championship races, including five from France and four from Ireland.


Tyrrhenian Sea has won all three of his starts at Newcastle, capturing a pair of novice races either side of Christmas and a mile handicap impressively in February.


The Roger Varian-trained four-year-old was unlucky to lose his unbeaten record in a 10-furlong handicap at Kempton Park on March 2, when he was repeatedly denied a run in the closing stages to finish fourth. 


Varian said of Betway’s 4/5 favourite: “Tyrrhenian Sea has been training well and heads to Newcastle in good order. 


“He is a lightly raced horse who should be unbeaten. He was caught in a pocket at Kempton over 10 furlongs, which can happen, and up until then he had looked very good in his short career. 


“He looks like he should run well in the Easter Classic and we would like to think that he is going there with a chance, but it is a tight race and he still has to do it on the track.”


Living Legend and Al Zaraqaan head the opposition after finishing first and second in the Listed Magnolia Stakes at Kempton Park on March 26, when Charlie & Mark Johnston’s runner prevailed by a nose.


Last season’s G3 Betway Winter Derby runner-up Felix disappointed behind the duo at Kempton Park and Marco Botti’s six-year-old is aiming to bounce back to the level of form that saw him finish fifth in the G1 Jebel Hatta at Meydan three weeks previously.


Five-time All-Weather victor United Front and French raider Charlesquint complete the six runners for All-Weather Champion Trainer Mick Appleby and Yann Barberot respectively.


Varian saddles La Tihaty in the £150,000 All-Weather Mile Championships (2.00pm) following a prolific campaign that has seen the four-year-old win four of his last five starts. 


The winning streak came to an end in the Lincoln Trial Handicap at Wolverhampton on March 12, when he never got into the race from the widest draw.


Varian said: “The draw was against La Tihaty at Wolverhampton and he did not have the smoothest trip but he did not finish out the race very well either. 


“We have put a line through it and have been happy with his condition since, although we would have preferred stall one at Wolverhampton rather than at Newcastle on Friday.


“We like his chances though and his form prior to Wolverhampton was progressive, winning four of his first five. If you ignore the last run, he has not done much wrong in his career, and he deserves to have a crack at a race like this.”


The 113-rated My Oberon is the headline act in the All-Weather Mile Championships. William Haggas’ runner captured a Fast-Track Qualifier at Southwell in February before a creditable sixth in the G1 Dubai Turf at Meydan on March 26.


Haggas told Sky Sports Racing: “My Oberon ran a bloody good race in Dubai and I was very pleased with him. If he runs like that again, he will win, but consistency is not his A-game. 


“He had a really hard race in Dubai 20 days ago and I have done nothing with him since, so I do not know if that will affect him or not. 


“He has a good draw [in stall 9], which I am pleased about, as I was a little concerned about being drawn low.”


A talented field of 11 also includes Amilcar and Fort Payne, who were both impressive Listed winners on the All-Weather in France last year, plus Irish challengers San Andreas and Freescape


The Charlie Fellowes-trained Ejtilaab sets the standard in a red-hot renewal of the £150,000 Betway All-Weather Sprint Championships (2.35pm), with all 14 runners rated 100 or higher. 


Listed Betway Kachy Stakes victor Spycatcher heads three contenders for Karl Burke, while eye-catching last-time-out winners Harry’s Bar and Bouttemont fly the flag for Ireland and France respectively. Listed scorers Good Effort and Volatile Analyst also run alongside Judicial, who took the G3 Chipchase Stakes at Newcastle in 2020. 


El Caballo, winner of the Listed Coral Spring Cup, Tiber Flow and Space Cowboy all put unbeaten All-Weather records on the line in the £150,000 Coral Three-Year-Old All-Weather Championships (3.10pm, 10 runners). 


Tiber Flow’s trainer William Haggas told Sky Sports Racing: “I think Tiber Flow is a pretty good horse. He is drawn a bit low [in stall 2], which I don’t like, but we think he has more to offer, particularly over six furlongs, and a stiff track like this should suit him well.”


Fast-Track Qualifier form is to the fore in the £150,000 Betway All-Weather Marathon Championships (4.15pm), with Sleeping Lion, Earlofthecotswolds and Rainbow Dreamer topping the 12 runners.


Royal Ascot winner Highfield Princess is the class act in the £150,000 Coral All-Weather Fillies’ & Mares’ Championships (3.45pm). Prolific All-Weather winner Internationalangel and Newcastle scorer Rising Star also feature among the seven-strong field. 


The inaugural All-Weather Championships Vase fixture at Lingfield Park for horses not rated high enough to run at Newcastle has been well-supported, with 87 runners across the seven races. 

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