Newmarket duo secure spots in Finals Day at Lingfield Park
Newmarket-trained duo Master The World and Gifted Master secured their places for next year’s All-Weather Championships Finals Day with impressive Fast-Track Qualifier wins on Saturday.
Six-year-old Master The World stormed to victory in the 10-furlong £40,000 Listed Betway Churchill Stakes at Lingfield Park, to gain a free and automatic spot in the £200,000 Betway Easter Classic over the same course and distance on March 30 (Good Friday).
Sent off as a 10/1 chance after finishing down the field in the November Handicap at Doncaster, the David Elsworth-trained grey gelding ran on strongly after being held up by Sean Levey to hit the front inside the furlong, and went clear to prevail by a length and three-quarters.
Elsworth said: “Master The World ran well in the November Handicap, which was a tough race.
“He runs consistently well at the highest level — I think he went a year without winning, but was getting beaten by a couple of short-heads — and he is a tough old sort.
“Sean gave him a positive ride and he is probably one of the more under-rated jockeys around. He rides very well and I am using him with increasing frequency.
“Good Friday is a distinct possibility. We went out to Dubai last year, but they used to quicken up from the front after going a slow gallop, and he didn’t get into the races.
“He still ran well out there and we could go anywhere with him. He’s not a bad old boy and a G3 horse on his day.”
Meanwhile, Gifted Master (9/2), twice successful at G3 level on turf, was an emphatic winner of the six-furlong £37,000 Betway Golden Rose Stakes, to set up a tilt at the £150,000 Betway All-Weather Sprint Championships over the same course and distance on Good Friday.
The four-year-old, trained by Hugo Palmer and ridden by James Doyle, reeled in long-time leader Caspian Prince entering the final half-furlong, and powered away from his rivals in the closing stages for a length and a half verdict over Mythmaker.
The All-Weather Championships Finals Day will take place at Lingfield Park on March 30 next year.
The seven-race card is worth a total of £1 million, with each final worth £150,000, apart from the Easter Classic which is worth £200,000.