The All Weather Championship finals are upon us again, where the kings of the sand such as Adam Kirby and Luke Morris wage war against each other for some very decent prize money...
AW Sprint Final -
The sprint final this year is headed by pretty much co favourites with most firms in the form of Pretend for Charlie Appleby and last years second Lancelot Du Lac. Obviously on that form you have to get Lancelot a fair chance of being there or thereabouts again here under Robert Winston but I think the stronger form lies with Pretend who's raced in listed contests and was the runner up in a Group 3 last summer. Two at big prices to consider might be Boom The Groom at 20/1 and Gracious John at 16's. Pretend will be difficult to peg back though for me.
AW Fillies and Mares Finale -
Three market principals here that are extremely hard to to part, but as we've seen many times before on the all weather that a complete outsider could sweep past them all and take the spoils. The three at the top of the market are Muffriha (15/8), Ashadihan (5/2) and Realtra (4/1). The one I fancy on taking a chance on here is actually Realtra, which probably raises a few eyebrows as he has been well beaten over in Meydan on his return from a long lay off. However I feel Roger Varian still feels there's something in the tank here in his 5 year old and I think we might just see that here. Andrea Atzeni rides.
AW 3YO Final -
Second Thought for William Haggas is certainly the one to beat here, he's won three of his four starts the latest coming in a Class 1 here. He certainly looks to be progressive and this is shown in the betting as he's as short as evens with some firms. I always do like to try and take these short price favourites on though on the flat and i'll try to do that here with a Mark Johnston horse that i'm a fan of in Sutter County. I do love Mark's horses, you know what your going to get, they are trained to bound out of the stalls and let the others try and catch them. Sutter County has had 10 runs winning 3 of them and only finishing out of the top two twice. He currently trades at 4/1. Dubai One takes a step up in class following wins in his last three, and trades at 6/1 for Saeed Bin Surror and Godophin.
AW Marathon -
This a right tough one this, headed by Saeed Bin Surrors Natural Scenery who trades at a general 7/2. He's coming into this following wins in his last two and is a generally very consistent performer. Champion apprentice Josephine Gordon is likely to ride again which is another positive when it comes to him. One it might be worth having a look at each way though is Mark Johnstons Watersmeet. This horse has had an absolutely colossal 34 runs, winning 10 of them and most of them have been in Class 2 and above company. He's coming into this on the back of a couple of wins on the all weather one of them here a few months ago and I think at 13/2 he's certainly a more than decent each way contender.
AW Middle Distance Final -
Another very competitive affair here in the middle distance and it's headed by a horse that I tipped up for the Winter Derby at 7/1 here in Sir Michael Stoute's Convey. He's obviously shorter than that for this following that success but i'd certainly be willing to side with him again here, he won well that day under a great ride from Andrea Atzeni and a repeat performance of that would certainly see him there or thereabouts, he trades at a general 5/2. All weather household names in Battalion and Grendisar both can't be ruled out and one I think might be worth considering at a big price is Third Time Lucky for Richard Fahey if he goes for this considering he ran in the Lincoln at Doncaster last time out. He was well down the field there but before that was just getting onto terms with all weather racing over the winter with some decent places and a win and 16/1 might just turn out to be a great price for him to continue that progression.