Dubai Warrior begins his All-Weather Championships campaign in the Listed Betway Churchill Stakes (3.05pm) at Lingfield Park this Saturday, November 14, the first of two Fast-Track Qualifiers on the card.
Trained by John Gosden, Dubai Warrior (Robert Havlin) won all three of his starts during last season’s championships, including dominant victories over the course and distance in the Listed Betway Quebec Stakes in December and the G3 Betway Winter Derby in February.
Dubai Warrior has been off the track since finishing fifth in a Listed race on turf at Sandown Park in July. Betway make him the 4/7 favourite.
Sinjaari (William Haggas/Tom Marquand) is aiming to bounce back from a below par performance in the Cambridgeshire at Newmarket on September 26. The four-year-old had previously come with a storming run to land the prestigious John Smith’s Cup at York in July.
Palavecino (Brian Meehan/Martin Dwyer) made great strides during the summer, landing three handicaps in four starts, and took another step forward last time out when second in the Listed Floodlit Stakes over 12 furlongs at Kempton Park on November 2.
Trainer Brian Meehan said today: “Palavecino is in very good form after a great run in the Floodlit.
“He has been a big improver this season and, in fairness, we have always felt that he could be up to this sort of level, even at the beginning of the year.
“It will be interesting to see how gets on this weekend, as I think the 10 furlongs around Lingfield is absolutely perfect for him.”
Japanese bred colt Satono Japan (Sir Michael Stoute/William Buick), a son of Deep Impact, out of dual G1 winner Dubawi Heights, is the least exposed runner in the field. He looked a prospect when scoring on debut at Kempton Park in October 2019, though his only start since came when third in a novice race at Wolverhampton on October 17.
Golden Lips (Harry Dunlop/Josephine Gordon), runner-up in the Listed Lingfield Park Oaks Trial in June, completes the five runners.
Betway Churchill Stakes - Betway prices:
4/7 Dubai Warrior
8/1 Satono Japan
33/1 Golden Lips
The other Fast-Track Qualifier on the card, the Listed Betway Golden Rose Stakes (3.40pm, 12 runners) over six furlongs, throws up an exciting clash between Judicial (Julie Camacho/Paul Mulrennan) and Good Effort (Ismail Mohammed/Ray Dawson).
Judicial landed the spoils last year with a devastating turn of foot and has since gone on to further success in the G3 Chipchase Stakes at Newcastle in June and a Listed race at Chester in August.
Good Effort is on a roll after winning his last four starts on the All-Weather. He captured the Listed Betway Cleves Stakes over the course and distance in February and was too good for his rivals last time out in a five-furlong class two handicap, also at Lingfield Park, on November 4.
Godolphin’s On The Warpath (Charlie Appleby/William Buick) drops back to six furlongs for the first time since running away with a valuable handicap at Newmarket in May 2019, in which he defeated the classy Summerghand by three lengths.
Sunday Star (Ed Walker/Andrea Atzeni) and Jovial (Sir Michael Stoute/Tom Marquand) clash again after filling the places behind Jouska in a six-furlong Listed race at Newmarket on October 10.
The highly regarded Lampang (Tim Easterby/Silvestre de Sousa), Soldier’s Minute (Keith Dalgleish/Paul Hanagan) and last year’s runner-up Tinto (Amanda Perrett/Jim Crowley) are other interesting contenders.
Betway Golden Rose - Betway prices:
7/2 Good Effort, Judicial
5/1 On The Warpath
10/1 Sunday Star
12/1 Soldiers Minute, Tinto
14/1 Shimmering Dawn
16/1 Burmese Waltz, Fizzy Feet, Highland Dress
Betway PR Manager Chad Yeomans said: “A small but select field have declared for the Betway Churchill Stakes and those that took the odds-against on last year’s winner Dubai Warrior will be rubbing their hands together, as he’s now into 4/7 and looks sure to be popular on the day, too.
“The Betway Golden Rose looks a cracker as ever and Good Effort, who is seeking a five-timer, has been the best backed with us this week. The five-year-old was as big as 11/2 with us earlier this week.
“All in all, the two fast-track qualifiers looks very exciting and we’ll no doubt be seeing horses this weekend that will be aiming for Finals Day on Good Friday.”