All-Weather Championships Report - Young Rascal impresses in Matchbook Floodlit Stakes
The 12-furlong Polytrack contest has a history of a producing horses who go on to score at the highest level, most notably 2015 Dubai World Cup victor Prince Bishop, and Young Rascal is now under consideration for the G1 Hong Kong Vase in early December.
Mastery won both races in 2010. Young Rascal (William Haggas/Tom Marquand, 4/1), who landed three G3 prizes in 2018, had not raced since finishing sixth in the G2 Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket in May, after which he was gelded.
The four-year-old settled in fourth of the six runners in the early stages before improving to track leader Spirit Of Appin (Brian Meehan/Martin Dwyer, 7/1) as the field rounded the home turn.
Spirit Of Appin tried to kick away in the straight, but could not shake off Young Rascal who seized the advantage passing the furlong marker and ran on strongly to score by three lengths.
Godolphin challenger Loxley (Charlie Appleby/Adam Kirby, 5/1) stayed on to take second inside the final 100 yards, with Spirit Of Appin a further half-length back in third.
The 5/6 favourite Royal Line (John Gosden/Rab Havlin) never threatened and finished a well-beaten fifth.
William Haggas said afterwards: "We were hoping for that sort of performance from Young Rascal. "He is a talented horse who lost his way in the spring for whatever reason - he did not run properly in the John Porter Stakes and then he ran badly in the Jockey Club Stakes.
"We cut him, gave him a lot of time off, and he has come back well. He has been training very well to be fair. "We had him in the St Simon Stakes [at Newbury], which was abandoned, and fortunately this race fitted in quite nicely eight or nine days later.
"John's horse Royal Line clearly did not run to his best for whatever reason, so Young Rascal has probably run to his mark.
"I felt he raced a bit rusty when he came off the bridle and Tom had to get into him a bit but, once he did, he went away nicely. He does not doing anything too quickly, but he is a pretty smart staying horse.
"My plan had always been to give him the summer off here and then try to get invited to Hong Kong for the Vase, which I think he will, and then go to Australia for the Sydney Cup with a prep race beforehand.
"Now he is gelded, he has no stallion value obviously and we have to race around the world for some money.
He is a very sound horse and today was a great start. He will have bigger challenges to come, but let's get on with it.
"I think he will stay, and Saudi Arabia has thrown a spanner in the works by putting on a $2.5 million staying over a mile and seven furlongs, which could be very tempting. I need to go out and have a look at their track first, but I gather it is a big galloping so that would be good.
"Then there is obviously the Dubai Sheema Classic and Dubai Gold Cup as well. We have lots of options and it is great that he has jumped the first hurdle. If he can jump the others, we will be very pleased!"
Tom Marquand said: "Young Rascal stayed really well there. Luckily, there was an injection of speed down the back straight, as that helped me out. It was a pleasing comeback on the racecourse. "The horse I was following [Mina Vagante, 66/1] was not the one I wanted to be behind early, but I thought it might work out OK in the end and luckily I got a quick option out.
"Young Rascal is clearly a nice horse with loads of ability and hopefully bigger and better things are on the horizon for him."
About the All-Weather Championships Season seven of the All-Weather Championships runs from Tuesday, October 22, 2019 and culminates with All-Weather Championships Finals Day on Good Friday, April 10, 2020 at Lingfield Park.
The seven races on All-Weather Championships Finals Day are worth a total of £1 million.
The season seven information pack can be downloaded by following this link and scrolling down to the bottom of the page: https://www.awchampionships.co.uk/about-the-championship/all-weather-explained/
The six championship categories are:
£150,000 Three-Year-Olds sponsored by Ladbrokes - 6f Final
£150,000 Fillies & Mares sponsored by Ladbrokes - 7f Final
£150,000 Mile sponsored by Bombardier - 1m Final £150,000 Sprint sponsored by Betway - 6f Final
£150,000 Marathon sponsored by Betway - 2m Final
£200,000 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 Lingfield Park: * 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. or * 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 during the qualifying period between October 22, 2019 and the six-day entry stage for the finals (Saturday, April 4, 2020) and then be rated high enough to 'make the cut' in a final by order of its BHA Rating.
The 24 Fast-Track Qualifiers are scheduled as follows: Category Date Racecourse Dist Race Winner 3YO 22 Oct 2019 Newcastle 6f Conditions Temple Of Heaven (Richard Hannon/Sean Levey
FILLIES & MARES 31 Oct 2019 Lingfield Park 8f Listed (Fleur De Lys) Scentasia (John Gosden/David Egan)
FILLIES & MARES 01 Nov 2019 Dundalk (IRE) 8f Listed (Cooley) Surrounding (Michael Halford/Ronan Whelan)
SPRINT 16 Nov 2019 Lingfield Park 6f Listed (Golden Rose)
MIDDLE DISTANCE 16 Nov 2019 Lingfield Park 10f Listed (Churchill) MILE 20 Nov 2019 Kempton Park 8f Listed (Hyde)
MIDDLE DISTANCE 28 Nov 2019 Deauville (FR) 9.5f Listed (Lyphard) 3YO 07 Dec 2019 Wolverhampton 6f Conditions
MARATHON 14 Dec 2019 Newcastle 16f Conditions
FILLIES & MARES 03 Jan 2020 Wolverhampton 7f Conditions
MILE 08 Jan 2020 Newcastle 8f Conditions
SPRINT 08 Jan 2020 Newcastle 5f Conditions
MARATHON 13 Jan 2020 Wolverhampton 16f Conditions 3YO 20 Jan 2020 Kempton Park 6f Conditions
SPRINT 01 Feb 2020 Lingfield Park 6f Listed (Cleves)
MIDDLE DISTANCE 01 Feb 2020 Lingfield Park 10f Listed (W D Trial)
FILLIES & MARES 13 Feb 2020 Chelmsford City 8f Conditions
MILE 15 Feb 2020 Cagnes-sur-Mer (FR) 8f Listed (Saonois)
MARATHON 16 Feb 2020 Kempton Park 16f Conditions
MIDDLE DISTANCE 22 Feb 2020 Lingfield Park 10f Group 3 (Winter Derby) 3YO 29 Feb 2020 Lingfield Park 7f Listed (Spring Cup)
SPRINT 03 Mar 2020 Chantilly (FR) 6f Conditions
MARATHON 07 Mar 2020 Chelmsford City 16f Conditions
MILE 07 Mar 2020 Wolverhampton 7f Listed (Lady Wulfruna)
In addition to the fantastic prize money on offer, up to £10,000 will go 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 (£8,000 to the winner /£2,000 to the runner-up) Champion All-Weather Apprentice Jockey (£4,000 to the winner/£1,000 to the runner-up) Champion All-Weather Trainer (£10,000) Champion All-Weather Owner (£10,000) Winning Most All-Weather Horse (£10,000) All-Weather Horse Of The Year (based on prize money won during the Championships) (£10,000)