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Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Three things to look out for when planning your Easter punt

Mr Owen edges to his right hampering Master The World in the Winter Derby
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Entries for all-weather championships finals day at Lingfield are out but what have the previous Good Friday finales told us in terms of identifying any trends to pick up on? Jonathan Harding has a look back at the first four years of the action to see if history can point punters in the right direction . . .

World in pole position for Easter Classic

History suggests Master The World could be a major player in this year’s instalment of the Betway Easter Classic, coming as he does off the back of victory in February’s Winter Derby, which he was rightly awarded in the stewards' room after Mr Owen was disqualified for interference.

Since the launch of the all-weather championships in 2014, three of the four horses who won the Winter Derby went on to claim Lingfield's most valuable race on Good Friday a month or so later, a trend the David Elsworth-trained Master The World must have a good chance of continuing.

Winter Derby: watch the race replay along with the result here

Last year Convey pulled off the double for Sir Michael Stoute, readily seeing off Absolute Blast.

The only exception to the rule so far is Robin Hoods Bay, who after winning the 2014 Winter Derby was unable to cope with Grandeur and Dick Doughtywylie when third in the Good Friday feature.

Fruitful Fahey the one to stick with in Sprint

Richard Fahey has saddled more than 30 Group race winners in a host of countries and has an enviable record closer to home too, particularly in the sprint final on Good Friday.

The Yorkshire-based trainer has struck in three of the four editions of the race, with dual scorer Alben Star and Kimberella, who is in line to represent him again next week.

Kimberella was hampered when sixth at Wolverhampton last month and the record of his trainer alone in the Betway-backed sprint entitles him to plenty of respect.  

Drawn low is the place to be

In the four-year history of the championships only nine winners have come from a stall higher than six.

While past meetings suggest it is possible to win from anywhere, particularly over the longer distances, a draw of six or under does seem preferable and accounts for a total of 19 winners, or 68 per cent.

That perhaps isn't surprising but underlines the job that those boxed wide have on their plate. 

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Fahey has won three out of four editions of the Sprint
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