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Charming Kid heads 10 seeking Fast-Track Qualifier glory at Wolverhampton

Charming Kid, third in the G2 July Stakes at Newmarket earlier this year, features among a field of 10 two-year-olds for the £14,000 Ladbrokes Conditions Race (6.45pm) at Wolverhampton on Saturday.

The winner of the six-furlong Tapeta contest will receive a free and guaranteed place in the £150,000 Ladbrokes Three-Year-Old All-Weather Championships over the same distance on Polytrack at Lingfield Park on All-Weather Championships Finals Day, Good Friday, April 19.

Charming Kid (Richard Fahey/Paddy Mathers) has yet to race on the All-Weather but has displayed a high level of form in four turf appearances, with a debut victory at York and a creditable eighth in the G2 Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot in addition to his excellent Newmarket run.

The Charm Spirit colt is making his first appearance since coming home last of nine in the G2 Richmond Stakes at Glorious Goodwood in August.

Sunsprite (Richard Hughes/Shane Kelly) encounters an All-Weather surface for the first time as well following a string of fine efforts on turf, including victories at Bath, Salisbury and Chester, plus a close third in a Listed race at Ripon on his latest outing.


Sunsprite (right) on his way to winning at Bath 

Archie Watson sent out Corinthia Knight to capture last season's £150,000 Ladbrokes Three-Year-Old All-Weather Championships and the in-form trainer sends out another Ontoawinner-owned colt in Quiet Endeavour (Edward Greatrex), who has three wins from four starts on the All-Weather. 

You Never Can Tell (Richard Spencer/Graham Lee) and Deputise (William Haggas/Tom Marquand) both line up on the back of victories on Tapeta at Newcastle, while Fares Kodiac (Marco Botti/Luke Morris) took a Polytrack nursery handicap at Chelmsford City on November 13.

A strong contingent of Newmarket-trained horses also features the rapidly-improving Shining Armor (John Ryan/Franny Norton). The son of Morpheus gained a third straight victory with a cosy three-quarter length verdict in a nursery handicap, run over the same course and distance as the Ladbrokes Conditions Race, on November 22.

Ryan commented: "Shining Armor has improved in his last three runs and six furlongs is probably his perfect trip.

"He has a bit to find on the ratings with some of the field but didn't really come together until late in the season. He has a fair draw in stall seven and we have to take on the big boys at some point.

"Franny Norton knows his way around Wolverhampton and won on Shining Armor at Chelmsford City (November 10), which was probably his toughest run as it was over five furlongs.


"He was a typical breeze-up horse but then we had a few little issues, so we gave him a bit of time, and the plan is to continue with him on the All-Weather.

"I think there is improvement to come from him and we need to find out whether he is good enough for the top races over the winter."

Fillies She Can Boogie (Tom Dascombe/Liam Jones) and K Club (Richard Hannon/Sean Levey), who have both scored on turf, and recent Wolverhampton winner Vee Man Ten (Ivan Furtado/PJ McDonald), complete the runners.

An eight-race card at Wolverhampton gets underway at 5.15pm and also includes the £19,000 Betway Heed Your Hunch Handicap (7.45pm) over a mile and a half.

The 11 runners includes Atty Persse (Roger Charlton/PJ McDonald, 9st 9lb), winner of the King George V Handicap at Royal Ascot in 2017, and Not So Sleepy (Hughie Morrison/Graham Lee, 9st 6lb), runner-up in the £70,000 Marathonbet November Handicap at Doncaster last month.

Grey Britain (John Ryan/Adam Kirby, 9st 9lb) won a 10-furlong Listed race at Newmarket last year and returned to the Suffolk course in May to take a valuable handicap over a mile and a half.

The four-year-old, fourth in the G3 Cumberland Lodge Stakes at Ascot in October, steps back up in distance after coming home third in a Wolverhampton handicap over an extended nine furlongs on November 28.

Ryan added: "The trip was probably a bit short for Grey Britain last time, when it turned into a very messy race, but he showed that he handled the track and the surface.


"He is horse who wants a strongly-run race as he has a nice cruising speed and he is quite an agile horse, which is beneficial around Wolverhampton.

"We have taken him out to Dubai for the past two years but are planning to campaign him throughout the All-Weather Championships this season."

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