Star Links set for Wolverhampton raid

Irish raider Star Links is set to bid for an eighth course and distance victory at Wolverhampton in the £19,000 Ladbrokes Conditions Stakes (5.10pm, 13 entries) over an extended mile on Monday, February 3.

 

The Shane Donohoe-trained eight-year-old has contested three course and distance events since the All-Weather Championships started on October 26 and comes into the race on the back of a half-length handicap victory on January 13.

 

He finished an unlucky fifth behind Marshgate Lane in a valuable contest on December 14, having scored impressively by six lengths on November 29.

 

Donohoe reported today: “The owner is very keen for Star Links to come over on Monday. We know he is going to be fairly wrong at the weights, but the owner thinks the race might cut up a bit and he is one of those horses that runs 10 pounds better at Wolverhampton.

 

“He was entitled to win the last day because it wasn’t as strong as the race he had won in November. Even when he was fifth, he was very unlucky and I thought he would have definitely been placed. If he was good enough to place in that, he is good enough to run in the race on Monday.

 

“He is a not a young horse, so we are not worried about his mark and he is what he is. He will win races around Wolverhampton when the racing is ordinary, regardless of his mark.

 

“The reason he runs so well at Wolverhampton – and it’s the same wherever else he’s won – is because the stable yard is past the winning post. If the stable yard is this side of the winning post, he won’t rise a gallop. It’s unbelievable.”

 

The 13 entries also include Royal Hunt Cup fourth Don’t Call Me (Dandy Nicholls), lightly-raced five-year-old Anaconda (Tom Dascombe) and the very consistent Chookie Royale (Keith Dalgleish).

 

Birdman (David Simcock) and Luhaif (Julia Fielden), who finished first and second in a Lingfield Park handicap on January 18, could reoppose, while Listed scorer True To Form (Alan McCabe) is also engaged.

 

Wolverhampton’s seven-race card, which gets underway at 2.40pm and concludes at 5.40pm, also features the £19,000 32Red Handicap (3.40pm) over an extended two miles.

 

The eight entries include course and distance scorer Shelford (Mick Appleby), Lingfield Park runner-up Communicator (Andrew Balding) and smart hurdler Kashmir Peak (John Quinn).

 

Horses qualify for the six championships contests on £1-million All-Weather Championships Finals Day (Good Friday, April 18, 2014) by running in a minimum of three races at Britain’s All-Weather tracks – three owned by ARC, Lingfield Park, Southwell and Wolverhampton, and The Jockey Club’s Kempton Park – between October 26 and April 12 or else by succeeding in one of the 16 Fast-Track Qualifiers.

 

Lingfield Park Race Programme All-Weather Championships Finals Day, Good Friday, April 18, 2014

13.45 £50,000 coral.co.uk All-Weather Championships Apprentice Handicap (1m 4f)

14.20 £150,000 32Red.com All-Weather Fillies’ & Mares’ Championships Conditions Stakes (7f)

14.55 £150,000 32Red All-Weather Three-Year-Old Championships Conditions Stakes (7f)

15.30 £150,000 32Red Casino All-Weather Marathon Championships Conditions Stakes (2m)

16.05 £150,000 bookmakers.co.uk All-Weather Sprint Championships Conditions Stakes (6f)

16.40 £150,000 ladbrokes.co.uk All-Weather Mile Championships Conditions Stakes (1m)

17.20 £200,000 Coral Easter Classic All-Weather Middle-Distance Championships Conditions Stakes (1m 2f)

 

The dedicated website www.awchampionships.co.uk  has more details.

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