Loaded aimed and ready to fire for early place in Good Friday sprint
Portland winner Spring Loaded is ready to make an early bid for a place at the Good Friday All-Weather Championship finals in the first fast-track qualifier at Lingfield on Saturday.
His trainer Paul D'Arcy is hoping the 2018 Betway Sprint Final, worth £150,000, will be third-time lucky for the talented grey sprinter as he missed out by 1lb on making the field for the 2016 final and this year he suffered a stress fracture above his knee in a race at Kempton in January.
Spring Loaded will be defending an unbeaten course record after two wins at Lingfield when he lines up for the first sprint fast-track qualifier that is the 6f Betway Golden Rose Stakes.
D'Arcy said: "He has a good track record and takes his chance. It would be nice to qualify straight away but if not we will run him again until he qualifies.
"Hopefully it will be third-time lucky for him next Good Friday."
After finishing second in the Coral Sprint at York Spring Loaded was fourth back at Doncaster over five furlongs.
D'Arcy reflected: "I think last time it was more the ground than the trip. He likes to come from off the pace and he jumped the stalls too well and after racing up with the pace the ground was a bit too slow for him and he couldn't produce his usual finish."
Saturday's Listed race has attracted a strong entry of 28 including contenders from France and Germany and is headed by Group 3 Hackwood Stakes winner Magical Memory, who has the top BHA rating.
David O'Meara, who won the race last year with Lord Of The Land, has entered Wokingham winner Out Do and Intisaab.
Listed winner Gifted Master and Cheveley Park Stud's three-year-old filly Diagnostic, winner of her last three races at Chelmsford, are other entries.
There are three more fast-track qualifiers for the 6f final, at Newcastle (January 2), Lingfield over 5f (February 3) and Chantilly (March 6)