The fifth renewal of the All-Weather Championships reaches its climax on Good Friday. Finals Day held at Lingfield Park enjoys prize money of £1,000,000 and the richest race on the card is the Easter Classic All-Weather Middle Distance Championships Conditions Stakes.
A Class 2 Conditions Stakes race generally attracts horses with Official Ratings which mean that they would normally run in Listed and Group races, but with prize money of £200,000 to the winner the previous four runnings of the race have seen horses with Official Ratings between 111 and 115 winning. This year the highest rated horse is Master The World who has a rating of 108.
With just four previous renewals it is difficult to use historical statistics to help pinpoint a possible winner. However, there are a number of developing trends which might help:
- All four of the previous winners has at least 1 run over course and distance in the same calendar year.
- In all cases they also won over course and distance.
- The last three winners of the Middle Distance Championship have also won the Group 3 Winter Derby, run over course and distance in February.
- Three of the previous four winners have also run no more than 6 times on the all-weather.
- Finally, all four previous winners have gone off as favourite.
Master The World ticks all of the above boxes. The seven-year-old grey gelding has run once over course and distance this year, winning the Winter Derby. Although he finished second, he was awarded the race by the stewards as he was severely interfered with by Mr Owen, who was first past the post. Only beaten by a neck, there is little doubt that he would have won on merit given a clear run.
He has only run six times on the all-weather in his career to date, with five runs coming over course and distance, winning twice. His other winning run came in the Listed Churchill Stakes. He is also currently trading as favourite for the race.
He is also ridden by Sean Levey who has ridden Master The World four times, winning twice, with both wins coming over course and distance.
Kevin Quinn who part owns the horse said after the race: “Sean Levey gets on so well with him and having the right jockey on board massively helps. Sean wasn’t on board last time and, because they have such a good connection, we probably shouldn’t have run him. It is important to maintain those relationships when a horse and jockey get on so well.”
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