Rainbow Dreamer booked his ticket to All-Weather Championships Finals Day with a convincing victory in the Betway Conditions Stakes at Wolverhampton.
Monday’s Fast-Track Qualifier – run in driving rain and howling gales – was widely billed as a rematch between Raymond Tusk and Funny Kid, following the former’s hard-fought victory over the French challenger at Newcastle last month.
But Hollie Doyle had not read that script on Alan King’s Rainbow Dreamer – and after tracking Raymond Tusk for much of the extended two-mile trip, the record-breaking jockey took over on the seven-year-old ex-hurdler clear to win by three and a half lengths as the well-backed 100-30 second favourite.
Funny Kid, held up at the back of the five-runner field, mounted a late challenge – as Raymond Tusk faded into fourth – but was unable to get to grips with the winner, who was taking his unbeaten all-weather career record to four in all after two back-to-back Kempton successes over the past two months.
Doyle had ridden Rainbow Dreamer to two of his previous victories, on Kempton’s Polytrack and Southwell’s Fibresand, before this successful switch to Tapeta.
She told Sky Sports Racing: “He’s just taken to this surface – he loves the all-weather.
“He’s going the right way. He went up 3lb for his last win the other week at Kempton, and he’s done it nicely again.”
Tactics were paramount in such tough weather conditions – against proven stayer Raymond Tusk and Funny Kid, a rival with noted pace for this marathon trip.
Doyle said: “It’s not ideal – it is hard for them.
“But luckily, when I pushed the button (on him) the wind was blowing the right way.”