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Monday, 17 December, 2018

Four stars set to shine at Lingfield on Good Friday

Magical Memory (left, grey) just gets the better of Kachy
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It is the fifth edition of the catchily named All-Weather Championships Finals Day – or AWCFD as no-one calls it – at Lingfield on Friday. Here are the fantastic four that can light up the card.

Betway All-Weather Sprint Championships Conditions Stakes

If there is a horse to go on and make his presence felt at Group 1 level this season perhaps it is Kachy, who possesses plenty of early speed and found only Quiet Reflection too good in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot back in 2016.

He struggled to win last season, getting beaten in a photo-finish by Magical Memory off level weights at Haydock and finding only Waady too good at Leicester, but he has won his two starts on the all-weather this winter and from stall five Richard Kingscote should be able to secure the perfect position.

Red Verdon 
Betway All-Weather Marathon Championships Conditions Stakes

Ed Dunlop's one-time Derby sixth Red Verdon is an exciting animal if taking to staying trips. He has never raced over further than a mile and a half, but he is five now and Dunlop knows a potential Melbourne Cup horse when he sees one so this is an interesting venture. 

Red Verdon: exciting animal if taking to staying trips

He was well fancied for the St Leger at one stage and has untapped potential as a stayer. His mile and a half form is very solid, with his Listed victory at Kempton in November over Master The World looking even better now that one has gone and won the Group 3 Winter Derby.

Master The World now heads the betting for the Betway Easter Classic All-Weather Middle Distance Championships Conditions Stakes.

Never Back Down 
32Red 3 Year Old All-Weather Championships Conditions Stakes

There is something about the preparation Hugo Palmer has given Never Back Down for this that gives the impression he might also be a classy animal en route to bigger and better things.

He was second to subsequent Windsor Castle and Group 3 winner Sound And Silence on his debut and was being aimed at the Royal Ascot contest himself before injury put paid to that.

Full Lingfield card

He returned to the track in October, running well enough in two Listed contests before winning a fast-track qualifier back in early December by a comfortable length – with a certain Sound And Silence back in fourth and favourite for this Corinthia Knight, who has won his three starts since, a length and a quarter back in third.

That he was then put away with this in mind was encouraging and he has the profile to go on to much better things. 

Second Thought (number 5), seen here winning the Sprint on Finals Day last year, is one of three good rides James Doyle has for William Haggas at Lingfield on Good Friday

Second Thought 
Sunbets All-Weather Mile Championships Conditions Stakes

Last year's winner of the three-year-old contest, Second Thought is back for more and unlike Kimberella in the sprint he cannot defend his title so he is going for another.

Can he add the mile to owner Liam Sheridan's mantlepiece? Well, he faces some stiff opposition from Arcanada – who has won his last three for the Tom Dascombe/Richard Kingscote axis that will also be represented by Kachy – and Goring – who has won his last four.

There are also three other last time out winners, not to mention this winter's star Spare Parts to contend with, but Second Thought brings a streak of two to this himself.

In the post-race celebrations he is yet to stand in any position other than that reserved for the winner in his six starts on the all-weather.

This is his surface and he can keep the William Haggas/James Doyle combination in the headlines.

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He was well fancied for the St Leger at one stage and has untapped potential as a stayer
E.W. Terms
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