France staged a qualifier last weekend for the £1 million Championships Day on Good Friday and there was a big upset at Kempton Park, where outsider Stamford Raffles clinched his place in the Marathon Final.
FRENCH QUALIFIER SPRINGS SURPRISE
The Listed Prix Saonois at Cagnes-Sur-Mer last Saturday - a Fast Track Qualifier for the Mile Final - provided a surprise result when VOLFANGO swooped late to claim his place at Lingfield Park on Good Friday. Top jockey Maxime Guyon overcame a wide draw on the Polytrack to deny the better fancied Bayoun. Volfango, a 16-1 shot, was having his first start for trainer Fabrice Vermeulen since leaving Freddy Head last August.
RAFFLES IS JUST THE TICKET FOR JANE
STAMFORD RAFFLES caused the upset of the day when he dominated the Fast Track Qualifier for the two-mile Marathon Final at Kempton Park at the weekend. Jane Chapple-Hyam’s runner was the outsider of the field at 33-1 but simply couldn’t be caught under a masterful ride by Richard Kingscote. He held off two respected Good Friday challengers in Spark Plug and Grey Britain to guarantee his place in the Easter showpiece.
ALSVINDER TAKES STEP CLOSER TO SPRINT FINAL
A shot at the £150,000 Sprint Final is on the cards for sprinter ALSVINDER, who hasn’t been the easiest to predict this winter but was at his best to score his third win since October in a six-furlong Lingfield handicap last Saturday. David O’Meara’s six-year-old finished strongly under leading jockey Adam Kirby to edge out previous course and distance winner Merhoob and put himself in with a chance of making the Final cut.