ALL WEATHER CHAMPIONSHIP - Dunlop looking forward to Virgin territory as Southwell ushers in new era
Dunlop looking forward to Virgin territory as Southwell ushers in new era
Group-race performer Virgin Snow is the headline act as Southwell races on its new Tapeta surface for the first time on Tuesday, December 7.
There are 95 runners across the eight races, with the £40,000 Watch Racing Free Online At Coral Winter Oaks Trial taking centre stage at 5.30pm.
The 11-furlong handicap is a stepping-stone to the new £100,000 Coral Winter Oaks, one of the highlights of Lingfield Park’s inaugural three-day Winter Million weekend at the end of January. Top-weight Virgin Snow returns after more than a year off the track.
The daughter of six-time G1 winner Snow Fairy has twice placed at G3 level, finishing second in Newcastle’s Hoppings Stakes and third on her latest appearance in the Pride Stakes at Newmarket in October 2020.
Trainer Ed Dunlop said: “Virgin Snow has not run for a very long time due to a setback and on top of that she has to give a lot of weight away.
“This is very much a starting point and we are hoping to continue forward to the new race at Lingfield in the new year.
“She had some smart form as a three-year-old and it will be great to get her back on the track, but I expect her to improve a lot for the run.”
Regarding the new Tapeta surface, Dunlop added: “I am very pro the switch from Fibresand to Tapeta.
“Southwell is a fantastic racecourse – with a great layout – and I expect the racing there going forward will be well-subscribed and very popular.”
The seven runners in the Watch Racing Free Online At Coral Winter Oaks Trial also include James Fanshawe’s progressive four-year-old Viola, who was third in the Listed Coral EBF River Eden Fillies' Stakes at Lingfield Park in October.
Roger Varian’s runner Timeless Soul finished second in a handicap at Glorious Goodwood on her penultimate start, while Alba Rose makes a quick reappearance for Mark Johnston after finishing second at Lingfield Park on November 30.
Lower Street, who is seeking a three-timer after wins at Wolverhampton and Kempton Park, is one of three runners out of the handicap alongside Samara Star and One Last Dance.
The other valuable contest on the card is the £30,000 #betyourway At Betway Handicap (4.30pm) over five furlongs, in which Night On Earth chases a hat-trick for Mick Appleby and The Horse Watchers.
A future star could emerge in the two divisions of the Coral Proud To Support British Racing EBF Novice Stakes (6.30pm & 7.00pm), with top owners Godolphin, Juddmonte, Qatar Racing and King Power Racing all represented.
About the All-Weather Championships
Season nine of the All-Weather Championships runs from Tuesday, October 19, 2021, and culminates with All-Weather Championships Finals Day on Good Friday, April 15, 2022.
Finals Day will take place at Newcastle for the first time while its previous home Lingfield Park will now stage the All-Weather Vase fixture for horses not rated high enough to run on Finals Day.
The six championship categories are:
Three-Year-Olds sponsored by Coral - 6f Final
Fillies & Mares sponsored by Coral - 7f Final
Mile sponsored by MansionBet - 1m Final
Sprint sponsored by Betway - 6f Final
Marathon sponsored by Betway - 2m Final
Middle Distance sponsored Betway - 10f Final
There are two ways for horses to qualify for one of the finals on All-Weather Championships Finals Day at Newcastle:
* A horse can win a 'Fast-Track Qualifier' race which will ensure a FREE and GUARANTEED place in the corresponding final on Good Friday. There are four Fast-Track Qualifiers in each of the six championship categories hosted at racecourses in Great Britain, Ireland and France. If a filly wins any of the Fast-Track Qualifier races for either the Sprint or the Mile categories, the filly will be qualified for the final of that specific category, or for the Fillies and Mares Final.
* A horse must run a minimum of three times on the All-Weather surfaces in Great Britain, Ireland and France; or twice on the All-Weather surfaces in Great Britain, Ireland, France and once on dirt in Dubai or Saudi Arabia during the qualifying period between October 19, 2021 and the six-day entry stage for the finals (Saturday, April 9, 2022) and then be rated high enough to 'make the cut' in a final by order of its BHA Rating.
In addition, prizes will be awarded to each of the All-Weather Champions - the 'All Stars' - based on the number of winners at the end of the All-Weather Championships season:
Champion All-Weather Jockey (winner and runner up)
Champion All-Weather Apprentice Jockey (winner and runner up)
Champion All-Weather Trainer
Champion All-Weather Owner
Winning Most All-Weather Horse
For details of the 24 Fast-Track Qualifiers, please click here.
Fast-Track Qualifier winners so far:
1 - 3YO, October 19, Newcastle, 6f, SPACE COWBOY (Richard Spencer/Hollie Doyle)
2 - F&M, October 28, Lingfield Park, 1m, MAAMORA (Simon & Ed Crisford/James Doyle)
3 - F&M, November 5, Dundalk (IRE), 1m, FRIENDLY (Aidan O’Brien/Wayne Lordan)
4 - SPRINT, November 13, Lingfield Park, 6f, GOOD EFFORT (Ismail Mohammed/Jim Crowley)
5 - MD, November 13, Lingfield Park, 1m 2f, PYLEDRIVER (William Muir & Chris Grassick/Martin Dwyer)
6 - MD, November 23, Deauville (FR), 1m 1½f, INTEGRANT (Henri-Francois Devin/Maxime Guyon)
7 - MILE, November 24, Kempton Park, 1m, MADAME TANTZY (Eve Johnson Houghton/Georgia Dobie)
8 - 3YO, December 4, Wolverhampton, 6f, EL CABALLO (Karl Burke/Clifford Lee)
For more information on the All-Weather Championships, please visit: www.awchampionships.co.uk