Weekender, Red Verdon And Mildenberger Square Off

Fast Track Qualifiers

05 March 2020

Proven Group-race performers Weekender, Red Verdon and Mildenberger feature among a classy line-up for the £20,000 tote Conditions Stakes (7.30pm) over two miles at Chelmsford City on Saturday, March 7. 

The final Fast-Track Qualifier of this season's All-Weather Championships offers a free and automatic place in the £150,000 Betway All-Weather Championships Marathon Final over the same trip at Lingfield Park on Good Friday, 10 April. 

Weekender (John Gosden/Frankie Dettori) was third in the G1 Irish St Leger in 2018 and the six-year-old has been victorious on all three of his previous visits to Chelmsford City, including an easy success over G3 winner Danehill Kodiac in a 14-furlong contest in May. Khalid Abdullah's homebred steps back up in trip after coming home seventh over a mile and a half in the Listed 32Red Wild Flower Stakes at Kempton Park in December. 

Red Verdon (Ed Dunlop/PJ McDonald) came home second in the 2016 G1 Grand Prix de Paris and gamely took York's G3 John Smith's Silver Cup in July. The seven-year-old makes his first start since going down by less than four lengths when eighth in the 12-furlong G1 Caulfield Cup at Caulfield, Australia, in October. 

Five-year-old Mildenberger (Mark Johnston/Franny Norton) has placed on all five of his G2 appearances, including a third behind champion stayer Stradivarius in the Yorkshire Cup last season. He goes into Saturday's race on the back of a dominant victory in a two-mile conditions race at Lingfield Park at the end of January. 

The field of four is completed by Eddystone Rock, who captured a pair of valuable staying handicaps on turf last season for trainer John Best. After scoring in a two-mile race at Ascot's Shergar Cup meeting in August, the eight-year-old followed up with a swooping win over an extended two miles at York's Ebor Festival. 

Eddystone Rock, who is partnered by Kieran O'Neill for the first time, makes his first start since finishing down the field in Newmarket's historic Cesarewitch Handicap over two and a quarter miles in October. 

Kent-based Best said: "Eddystone Rock is in fine form. He needs to start somewhere and this looks a good place to start. However, it does look a very tough race with the likes of Weekender and Red Verdon in there.

"He's been working well at home and it is good to get his season started. I think it is going to be a tough ask to win but it's a small field and the prize money is good. He has been a superb horse for us and we are looking forward to getting him going."

A seven-race card at Chelmsford City on Saturday evening gets underway at 5.25pm and runs through until 8.30pm. 

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