Surfing The Sand

Simon Mapletoft previews the latest Fast Track Qualifier at Wolverhampton on Monday, a 2m Conditions race that offers the winner a guaranteed place in the £150,000 Marathon Final on Good Friday.

  • Saturday 12 January
  • Blog
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FESTIVAL READY FOR FAST TRACK CELEBRATION

FESTIVAL OF AGES can book his place in the £150,000 Marathon Championship at Lingfield Park on Good Friday by winning the Betway Conditions Stakes (6.15) at Wolverhampton on Monday - the latest Fast Track Qualifier for the £1 million Finals Day.

Charlie Appleby’s unexposed stayer ran well to chase home Stargazer in another qualifier at Newcastle before Christmas on his first try at this trip, comfortably accounting for Dunstall Park rival Watersmeet.

The lightly raced five-year-old had previously won a novice stakes at Kempton Park and looks well equipped to cope with this sharper test under leading jockey Adam Kirby.

Mark Johnston’s gallant grey, who has twice finished in the frame on Good Friday, got the better of subsequent 2018 Marathon champion Funny Kid in an epic battle in this race 12 months ago but might struggle to turn the tables on his younger rival on identical terms.

A bigger danger could be John Ryan’s improver Aircraft Carrier, who is beginning to look a bargain having been bought out of Aidan O’Brien’s Ballydoyle stables at the autumn sales for 27,000 guineas.

He has won 1m6f handicaps at Chelmsford CIty and Wolverhampton in impressive style and shouldn’t have a problem seeing out this longer trip.

The 5lb age allowance he receives from Festival Of Ages could make it interesting and another big runs is surely on the cards but he must still prove himself at the distance and in this hotter grade.

Surfing The Sand

Wolverhampton 18:15, 14 January 2019

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