There is further Fast-Track Qualifier action at Kempton Park on Saturday, February 6, with a place in the Betway All-Weather Marathon Championship on Good Friday up for grabs.
A quality line up for the Unibet Conditions Stakes (6.30pm, 2m) features popular globetrotter Prince Of Arran (Charlie Fellowes/Tom Marquand) and last year’s decisive winner Rainbow Dreamer (Alan King/Hollie Doyle).
Prince Of Arran has been a wonderful servant and gave connections another day to remember when third in the Melbourne Cup on his latest outing in November. That was the eight-year-old’s third consecutive appearance in “the race that stops the nation”, following an agonising second in 2019 and a third in 2018.
Rainbow Dreamer has lost nothing in defeat in two Fast-Track Qualifier appearances this season, finishing a close third on his comeback at Newcastle in December before going down by a head to Mildenberger in a pulsating finish at Wolverhampton on January 18.
The unknown quantity in the field is the 104-rated Ocean Wind (Jack Mitchell), who started his career very successfully in bumpers, finishing off the 2019/20 Jump season with a close sixth in the G1 Weatherbys Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival. The five-year-old Teofilo entire was then switched to the Flat in the second half of last year to great effect.
After winning a turf maiden at Lingfield Park in August, Ocean Wind trounced the opposition in the Cesarewitch Trial at Newmarket and ended the year with a gutsy success under top weight in a class two handicap at Doncaster in late October.
Trainer Roger Teal said today: “Ocean Wind is as ready as we can get him at home, although I suspect he will come on a bit for the run, win, lose or draw.
“He is just one of those horses who doesn’t tell you much at home, which can be typical of a lot of the decent horses.
“He surprises us nearly every time he goes to the track and we don’t know where the ceiling is for him yet.
“I thought it was a top performance at Doncaster to give that sort of weight away. He only did it in workmanlike style, but that’s him really, and I like that because he is very effective.
“If he was to win at the weekend, we would very much consider the Marathon race on Finals Day because I think he has quite a few strings to his bow.
“Initially, we were thinking of taking him to Saudi Arabia, but he did not make the cut.”
Trainer Alan King has another talented contender in Scarlet Dragon (Martin Harley), who gave Hollie Doyle a day she will never forget when the pair landed last year’s Duke Of Edinburgh Handicap at Royal Ascot.
Progressive 12-furlong performer Furzig (Richard Fahey/Jack Garritty) also runs.