Trainer James Tate took both Listed races on the opening day of the 2015/16 All-Weather Championships at Lingfield Park this afternoon, Thursday, October 29, enjoying a 75.5/1 double.
The Newmarket handler saddled Lamar to a deserved success in the mile 32Red/ebfstallions.com Fleur De Lys Stakes, which is a Fast-Track Qualifier for the £150,000 32Red.com All-Weather Fillies’ & Mares’ Championships on March 25, Good Friday 2016.
The Cape Cross four-year-old, a 7/2 chance, was well positioned throughout by Luke Morris and wore down her rivals in the straight to win by a half-length from Very Special, sent off the 5/2 favourite, with Clarentine three quarters of a length further back in third.
Lamar’s record during the All-Weather Championships this seaon and last now stands at three wins, three seconds and a fourth from seven starts.
Tate said: “I am so pleased for Lamar because she has been the bridesmaid so many times.
“She got beat a short-head here in the Winter Derby Trial, she was beat a neck on Good Friday and has run well in loads of other black type races. It was lovely to see her get her head in front today.
“I think things would have been different on Good Friday if she had had a better draw but you would have to say a Listed win is more important to her economically.
“She is a lovely filly with a decent pedigree and she can go off to stud like she was supposed to last winter.
“She was meant to go to Kingman and continue racing but she kicked the living daylights out of the teaser. As a result, she wasn’t allowed anywhere near Kingman!”
Morris added: “Lamar has been real good servant for me and I’m glad she has finally got her head in front in a Listed race.
“She is very versatile and just as good at 10 furlongs or a mile. She has a big heart and tries very hard, which counts for a lot.”
Earlier in the day, Urban Castle defied a 70-day absence for Tate in the Listed 32Red.com/EBF Stallions River Eden Fillies’ Stakes over a mile and five furlongs.
The four-year-old Street Cry filly challenged widest of all under Adam Kirby and stayed on strongly to beat California by a length, with Headline News three quarters of a length further back in third.
Urban Castle, sent off at 16/1, was previously seen out finishing down the field in the Listed Galtres Stakes over 12 furlongs at York in August.
Tate said: “That was good from Urban Castle. She was badly struck into when the Irish horse cut across her at York and you can still see the scar on her pastern. She had to have two weeks in the box after that.
“Adam (Kirby) rides Lingfield so well and we hoped she would bounce back to the form she had been in previously.
“The plan was to go to stud after this race. Now she’s a Listed winner, instead of visiting a £10,000 stallion, she might look a bit higher.”
Kirby declared: “Urban Castle is a sweet filly and really tries.
“They went good gallop and I was happy enough where I was out the back. She took me into it nice enough and finished off well. It worked out great.”