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Masters return to defend their crowns in Listed Churchill and Golden Rose Stakes

Master The World and Sean Levey winning the Winter Derby Stakes following a stewards' inquiry
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2.45 Lingfield
Betway Churchill Stakes (Listed) (Fast Track Qualifier) | 1m2f | 3yo+ | ITV

Much has happened since jockey Sean Levey won this race last year with the David Elsworth-trained Master The World. 

The 30-year-old jockey won the 1,000 Guineas with 66-1 shot Billesdon Brook and looked poised for a record-breaking season before being sidelined with a shoulder injury at Salisbury in June. 

He returned to action with a win at Chelsmford last night and cannot wait to partner the horse who kickstarted his season last February when winning the Winter Derby. 

"I'm hoping he can get things started for me again this year," said Levey, who is aiming for a hat-trick in the race having won in 2016 with Team Talk.

"I'd never been off for so long and it was frustrating towards the end, as the longer you're off, the more you start to question yourself – you start to forget how to ride, to be honest!"

Sean Levey after winning the 1,000 Guineas with Billesdon Brook

Levey struck up a good partnership with Master The World last season and believes he can put his patchy turf form behind him on his all-weather return.

He said: "He upped his mark on the all-weather and struggled a bit at that level on the turf – he shouldn't have much form to find to be competitive again at Lingfield."

Last seen finishing down the field in the QEII, Group 2-winner Addeybb returns to the track for an all-weather debut. 

The four-year-old has run only once since May and trainer William Haggas is keen for him to put a difficult Ascot run behind him before being put away for five months.

"It was a messy race at Ascot and he got upset in the stalls," the trainer said. "He'll be better for that and, while it's not ideal to run with a 7lb penalty, I didn't want to put him away on a bad run."


What the others said

Mick Appleby, trainer of Big Country
He's in good order, but he doesn't have the best of draws; we're just hoping he'll run well.

Alan King, trainer of Scarlet Dragon 
He’s likely to be go back over hurdles and Martin Harley thought we could easily drop him back a quarter of a mile.

David O'Meara, trainer of Primero and Frankuus
Primero is stepping up in class but he's in good form. Frankuus needed the run at Newmarket and it's his first run on the all-weather for us.


3.15 Lingfield
Betway Golden Rose Stakes (Listed) (Fast Track Qualifier) | 6f | 3yo+| ITV

Last year's winner Gifted Master, who won the Stewards' Cup at Goodwood in August, attempts to defend his crown for Hugo Palmer. 

"Gifted Master needs a little instruction. We deliberately decided to give him longer between races as he goes best fresh – his career best run was the Stewards' Cup and we probably ran him a bit quickly afterwards.

Gifted Master (nearest): wins the Stewards' Cup in August
"He won this race from a bad draw last year and he seems in great terms with himself, so fingers crossed."

Palmer also runs Encrypted, and added: "He has fared better at the draw than Gifted Master and I think he deserves a crack at this level. We've run him in stakes races before and he came up a bit short."

Archie Watson fields Corinthia Knight, winner of seven of his ten starts on artificial surfaces. "We're very happy with him and it's great to get him back on the all-weather circuit, where he has done so well in the last couple of seasons," he said.

Group 2 winner Muthmir represents William Haggas, who said: "He needs a good pace and we're going to ride him cold. It looks a very competitive race."

David O'Meara runs Intasaab and Gulliver and said: "Intasaab likes the all-weather and is back from a little break. Gulliver is having his first run for us, so we're interested to see how he goes."


Full Lingfield card


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I'd never been off for so long and it was frustrating towards the end, as the longer you're off, the more you start to question yourself
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