By Simon Jackson
Prizemoney of £173,000 is up for grabs on the seven race card at Lingfield on Saturday where trainer Ed Vaughan has high hopes for Robin Hoods Bay in the Winter Derby Trial.
The £45,000 contest is one of two fast track qualifiers on the day for the All-Weather Championship Finals, with the winner of the 10 furlong Derby Trial assured of a place in the £200,000 Coral Easter Classic over the same course and distance on Good Friday.
Robin Hoods Bay showed plenty of fight to win by a head at his last start at Lingfield on January 25 despite being bumped near the finish and his Newmarket-based trainer reports him to be in top form ahead of Saturday’s race.
“Robin Hoods Bay is an intended runner at Lingfield this weekend,” Vaughan confirmed. “He ran very well in the Winter Derby last year and won last month off a mark 8lb higher than his win in the same race 12 months earlier. He goes well on the course and I think a mile and a quarter is his optimum trip.
“The time of his latest win was very good, which suggests that he will be competitive in a race like this. We had a little issue with him after he ran in September, which is why he was off for a while, and I haven’t trained him as hard this year.
“I am letting each race bring him on this season. Luke Morris got off him after his last run and said that there was a little bit more improvement to come from him. His campaign is mapped out for him – he will run on Saturday, return for the Winter Derby [March 22] and then go for Finals Day.
“It will be his third run of the All-Weather Championships and he should hopefully qualify for Finals Day with his rating, but winning a Fast Track Qualifier would obviously guarantee us a place.
“He is in cracking form and hopefully he can run another big race.”
All-Weather Championships Finals Day, Lingfield Park, April 18
13.45 £50,000 coral.co.uk All-Weather Championships Apprentice Handicap (1m 4f)
14.20 £150,000 32Red.com All-Weather Fillies’ & Mares’ Championships Conditions Stakes (7f)
14.55 £150,000 32Red All-Weather Three-Year-Old Championships Conditions Stakes (7f)
15.30 £150,000 32Red Casino All-Weather Marathon Championships Conditions Stakes (2m)
16.05 £150,000 bookmakers.co.uk All-Weather Sprint Championships Conditions Stakes (6f)
16.40 £150,000 ladbrokes.co.uk All-Weather Mile Championships Conditions Stakes (1m)
17.20 £200,000 Coral Easter Classic All-Weather Middle-Distance Championships Conditions Stakes (1m 2f)
Read Horse Talk with Simon Jackson each day at London24 for the latest horse racing news.