Island Of Life (William Haggas/Richard Kingscote, 11/4 joint-favourite) recorded her third consecutive success of the 2018/19 All-Weather Championships when taking the Ladbrokes Fillies’ Conditions Race at Wolverhampton on Wednesday 2nd January.
The seven-furlong Tapeta contest was a Fast-Track Qualifier, with Island Of Life now guaranteed a free start in the £150,000 Ladbrokes Fillies And Mares Championships over the same distance on Polytrack at Lingfield Park on £1-million All-Weather Championships Finals Day, Good Friday, 19th April.
Crossing The Line took the field along, and was soon closely followed by Miss Bar Beach. From last place entering the straight, Island Of Life was delivered up towards the inside with a well-timed run to challenge entering the final furlong and soon took the lead.
The five-year-old Dubawi mare won cosily by three quarters of a length from the staying-on Castle Hill Cassie, with the running-on Pattie, who came down the wide outside, another half-length away in third. The winning time was 1m 27.24s.
Island Of Life was running over seven furlongs for the first time since her racecourse debut in July, 2017. On her latest two outings prior to today, she won six-furlong handicaps at Newcastle (9th November) and Kempton Park (5th December).
Richard Kingscote partnered Island Of Life for the second time. He rode her to be a fast-finishing third in a five-furlong turf handicap at Haydock Park in June, 2018, when she badly missed the break. He reported: “We are making amends today. Me and her got into a pickle when I rode her last summer!
“She has been in good order of late and was up to seven furlongs today. She had a lovely gear to put the race to bed.
“Mr Haggas said to find a rhythm and get her switched off. She was lovely, to be fair, and once the gap opened off she went.
“She is game and has got a nice attitude. In the past, she had a few problems with the stalls, but they have fixed that and she has a blind on now, which she pops out much nicer with. It is onwards and upwards.
“Finals Day was mentioned this morning. She is going the right way and on today’s win you would hope she would be getting thereabouts.
“She stayed well over six furlongs at Newcastle, so seven around here today was never going to be a problem.”
Newmarket-based William Haggas is seeking his second win in succession in the Ladbrokes Fillies And Mares Championships, having taken the honours in 2018 with Diagnostic.
About the All-Weather Championships:
Season six of the All-Weather Championships runs from Tuesday 23rd October 2018 and culminates with All-Weather Championships Finals Day on Good Friday 19th April 2019, at Lingfield Park. The seven races on All-Weather Championships Finals Day are worth a total of £1 million.
The six championship categories are:
£150,000 Three-Year-Olds sponsored by Ladbrokes – 6f Final
£150,000 Fillies & Mares sponsored by Ladbrokes – 7f Final
£150,000 Mile sponsored by Sun Racing – 1m Final
£150,000 Sprint sponsored by Betway – 6f Final
£150,000 Marathon sponsored by Betway – 2m Final
£200,000 Middle Distance sponsored Betway – 10f Final
There are two ways for horses to qualify for one of the finals on All-Weather Championships Finals Day at Lingfield Park:
– A horse can win a ‘Fast Track Qualifier’ race which will ensure a FREE and GUARANTEED place in the corresponding final on Good Friday. There are four Fast Track Qualifiers in each of the six Championship Categories hosted at racecourses in Great Britain, Ireland and France. If a filly wins any of the Fast-Track Qualifier races for either the Sprint or the Mile categories, the filly will be qualified for the final of that specific category, or for the Fillies and Mares Final.
– A horse must run a minimum of three times on the All-Weather surfaces in Great Britain, Ireland and France; or twice on the All-Weather surfaces in Great Britain, Ireland, France and once on dirt in Dubai during the qualifying period between 23rd October 2018 and the six-day entry stage for the finals (Saturday 13th April 2019) and then be rated high enough to ‘make the cut’ in a final by order of its BHA Rating.