Eight line up in Fast-Track Qualifier on New Year’s Day at Southwell

Southwell will play host to its first Fast-Track Qualifier on New Year’s Day, Thursday, January 1, 2015 when the Nottinghamshire venue stages the £21,000 Daily Price Boosts At Unibet Conditions Stakes (2.40pm).

The winner of the five-furlong Fibresand contest will gain an automatic place in the £150,000 Unibet All-Weather Sprint Championships (for four-year-olds and upwards) over six furlongs at Lingfield Park on Good Friday, April 3.

A field of eight is set to go to post headed by Dungannon (Andrew Balding/Thomas Brown), who won a valuable five-furlong turf handicap at Doncaster on October 25 before scoring for the first time on the All-Weather in the £20 Risk-Free Bet At Unibet Handicap, also over five furlongs, on the Polytrack at Lingfield Park on December 3.

Perfect Pasture (Mick Easterby/Graham Gibbons) made an encouraging return to action when sixth in a valuable six-furlong handicap at Lingfield Park on December 10, which was his first start since February.

The son of Pastoral Pursuits, who will turn five on New Year’s Day, was a highly-progressive performer in the second half of 2013 and the start of 2014, recording six consecutive victories. He scored on turf at Hamilton, Carlisle, Nottingham and Redcar before success over five furlongs on Polytrack at Kempton Park in November, 2013. He subsequently recorded a very smooth success over six furlongs at Lingfield Park in a competitive handicap in January this year.

David Easterby, assistant trainer to his father, commented today: “We are not that happy with the draw (eight). We want to be 100 per cent that the frost is out of the ground and if he didn’t go to Southwell, we will find a race at Lingfield for him.

“He is in good nick and ran a good enough race last time out. If he turns up at Southwell, we expect him to run a good race.

“Good Friday is the plan for him in the long term and that is why he had a break over the summer.

“I think he is better over six furlongs but the Fibresand at Southwell will hopefully substitute for the race being over five furlongs.

“Hopefully, he has a good future ahead of him.”

Even Stevens (Scott Dixon/Tom Eaves) is a real course specialist at Southwell, having recorded seven wins at the course since 2010 with five of these having come over five furlongs. The six-year-old was last seen out when seventh behind Royal Bajan (James Given/P J McDonald) in the Unibet Offer Daily Jockey/Trainer Specials Handicap over five furlongs at Southwell on December 13.

Meadway (Bryan Smart/Paul Mulrennan) was victorious over five furlongs at Southwell last time out when taking Unibet Offer Daily Jockey Trainer Specials Handicap on November 13, while other contenders to have also won over the course and distance are Poyle Vinnie (Mick Appleby/Ali Rawlinson) and Woolfall Sovereign (George Margarson/Barry McHugh).

Completing the line-up is Sleepy Sioux (David Elsworth/John Egan), who won over five furlongs on Polytrack at Kempton Park in November before finishing third behind Dungannon at Lingfield Park on December 3.

Horses qualify for the seven championship contests on the £1.1-million All-Weather Championships Finals Day (Good Friday, April 3, 2015) by winning a specified “Fast Track Qualifier” or running in a minimum of three races at Britain’s five All-Weather tracks, Lingfield Park, Southwell and Wolverhampton, owned by ARC, The Jockey Club’s Kempton Park and Chelmsford City, between October 30 and March 30.

Alternatively, one of the three qualifying runs can come at Dubai’s Meydan Racecourse (dirt) or on the All-Weather surfaces at Ireland’s Dundalk and the French tracks of Cagnes Sur Mer, Chantilly and Deauville.

The full list of Fast-Track Qualifiers is as follows:

FILLIES 1 30 Oct Lingfield Park 8f Listed (Fleur De Lys) Tearless
SPRINT 1 15 Nov Lingfield Park 6f Listed (Golden Rose) Intransigent
MIDDLE 1 15 Nov Lingfield Park 10f Listed (Churchill) Battalion
MILE 1 19 Nov Kempton Park 8f Listed (Hyde) Sloane Avenue
3-Y-O 8F 1 22 Nov Lingfield Park 7f Conditions (2-y-o) Four Seasons
FILLIES 2 28 Nov Wolverhampton 7f Conditions Khatiba
3-Y-O SPRINT 1 06 Dec Wolverhampton 5f Conditions Portamento
STAYERS 1 13 Dec Wolverhampton 16f Conditions Hidden Gold
FILLIES 3 28 Dec Deauville FR 7.5f Listed
(Miss Santamixa) Fresles
SPRINT 2 1 Jan Southwell 5f Conditions
MILE 2 10 Jan Lingfield Park 8f Conditions
3-Y-O 8F 2 11 Jan Chelmsford City 8f Conditions
3-Y-O SPRINT 2 14 Jan Kempton Park 6f Conditions
STAYERS 2 21 Jan Lingfield Park 14f Conditions
FILLIES 4 22 Jan Chelmsford City 7f Conditions
3-Y-O SPRINT 3 4 Feb Chelmsford City 5f Conditions
3-Y-O 8F 3 8 Feb Cagnes Sur Mer FR 8f Listed (Californie)
MIDDLE 2 20 Feb Dundalk IRE 10.5f
SPRINT 3 21 Feb Lingfield Park 6f Listed (Cleves)
MIDDLE 3 21 Feb Lingfield Park 10f Listed
(Winter Derby Trial)
STAYERS 3 28 Feb Lingfield Park 16f Conditions
MILE 3 6 Mar Dundalk IRE 8f
MILE 4 7 Mar Wolverhampton 7f Listed
(Lady Wolfruna)
STAYERS 4 12 Mar Chelmsford City 16f Conditions
3-Y-O 8F 4 14 Mar Lingfield Park 7f Listed (Spring Cup)
SPRINT 4 14 Mar Lingfield Park 5f Listed (Hever)
MIDDLE 4 14 Mar Lingfield Park 10f Group 3
(Winter Derby)
3-Y-O SPRINT 4 14 Mar Wolverhampton 5f Conditions

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