Trainer William Knight is looking forward to saddling Aussie Reigns in the £200,000 Coral Easter Classic over 10 furlongs at Lingfield Park on All-Weather Championships Finals Day, Good Friday, April 18.
The four-year-old son of Aussie Rules, a 14/1 chance with the sponsor, was third on his latest start, beaten a length and three quarters by Robin Hoods Bay in the Group Three coral.co.uk Winter Derby over the same course and distance on March 22. Earlier in 2014, he was campaigned at Meydan in Dubai, recording his best effort when runner-up in a 10-furlong turf handicap on January 16.
Aussie Reigns enjoyed the biggest success of his career when taking the 12-furlong Listed Wild Flower Stakes over 12 furlongs on the Polytrack of Kempton Park in November, when he scored by a length fromDick Doughtywylie.
Knight, who is based close to Littlehampton in West Sussex, said today: “Aussie Reigns is in great order and the plan was always to run in this race after the Winter Derby. He has done two nice pieces of work and seems in really good nick. If anything, he looks stronger this year since he got back from Dubai.
“He has got it all to do to reverse the Winter Derby form with Robin Hoods Bay, while Grandeur was drawn badly that day. He might have finished a shade closer in the Winter Derby with a better run, but certainly wouldn’t have won and is the sort of horse that tends to find trouble and run through other horses anyway. I would say his price for Friday’s race is about right.
“Hopefully, we will get a bit of luck with our draw and I think he will certainly be there or thereabouts. I feel that as the season progresses, we will be looking at stepping him up in trip back to a mile and a half as he is out of a Singspiel mare.”
Heading the market at 5/2 with Coral for the Coral Easter Classic is Grandeur (Jeremy Noseda), winner of the Listed coral.co.uk Winter Derby Trial over the course and distance on February 22 and a dual Grade Two scorer in the US.
coral.co.uk Winter Derby hero Robin Hoods Bay (Ed Vaughan) is next in the betting at 7/2 with Solar Deity (Marco Botti), a six-time winner on Polytrack, on 5/1.
Coral Easter Classic – Coral bet: 5/2 Grandeur; 7/2 Robin Hoods Bay; 5/1 Solar Deity; 7/1 Marshgate Lane; 12/1 Dick Doughtywylie; 14/1 Aussie Reigns, Bancnuanaheireann, Rebellious Guest; 16/1 Blue Wave, Grendisar; 25/1 Anaconda, Big Baz; 33/1 Uramazin; 66/1 Aryal, Party Royal, Thatchmaster, Tinshu, Veeraya
Horses qualified for the six championship contests on £1-million All-Weather Championships Finals Day (Good Friday, April 18, 2014) by running in a minimum of three races at Britain’s All-Weather tracks – three owned by ARC, Lingfield Park, Southwell and Wolverhampton, and The Jockey Club’s Kempton Park – between October 26 and April 11 or else by succeeding in one of the 16 Fast-Track Qualifiers, which have all been run.
13.45 £50,000 coral.co.uk All-
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 (1m 7f 169y)
16.05 £150,000 bookmakers.co.uk All-
16.40 £150,000 Ladbrokes All-Weather Mile Championships Conditions Stakes (1m)
17.20 £200,000 Coral Easter Classic All-Weather Middle-Distance Championships Conditions Stakes (1m 2f)
The dedicated website www.awchampionships.co.uk has more details about the All-Weather Championships, including the leaderboards and the blog from Luke Morris.