Good Friday Racing For The First Time
Grandeur (Jeremy Noseda) and Robin Hoods Bay (Ed Vaughan) headline 20 entries for the £200,000 Coral Easter Classic over 10 furlongs at Lingfield Park on Good Friday, April 18.
The pair met in the Listed coral.co.uk Winter Derby Trial (Fast-Track Qualifier) over the same course and distance on February 22, with Grandeur a decisive three quarters of a length winner and Robin Hoods Bay finishing an unlucky fourth.
Despite the two and a quarter length deficit, Robin Hoods Bay comprehensively reversed the form in the Group Three coral.co.uk Winter Derby (Fast-Track Qualifier) on March 22, scoring by three quarters of a length from Windhoek with Grandeur a well-beaten seventh. Sponsor Coral has installed Grandeur as 11/4 favourite for the Coral Easter Classic, with Robin Hoods Bay a 5/1 chance.
Robin Hoods Bay has produced some of his best form at Lingfield Park and also captured a 10-furlong handicap on January 25, denying the Roger Charlton-trained Captain Cat by a head.
Charlton's charge, a 6/1 shot for the Coral Easter Classic with the race sponsor, had previously annexed a strong mile handicap at Kempton Park in October, which has produced seven individual winners, before going down by a half-length to String Theory over the same course and distance on December 12.
Captain Cat, who is also entered for the £150,000 Ladbrokes Mile on All-Weather Championships Finals Day, for which he is a 7/1 chance with Ladbrokes, was a leading contender for the Williamhill.com Lincoln Handicap at Doncaster last Saturday, but connections pulled him out due to the soft ground.
Charlton reported: "We will be looking to run Captain Cat on All-Weather Championships Finals Day, but we won't decide whether he goes for the Coral Easter Classic or the Ladbrokes Mile until nearer the time. I guess we will go for which race looks easier.
"He has progressed well on the All-Weather and his form looks very strong. The race he won at Kempton in October has worked out very well and even though he was just beaten in his last two starts, the winners have gone on to better things and there were also winners in behind.
"Realistically, he has a bit to find on ratings with some of the top horses, but they are valuable races and we hope he is capable of stepping up again."
Also among the Coral Easter Classic entries are Wolverhampton winner Solar Deity (Marco Botti, 5/1), Aussie Reigns (William Knight, 14/1), who returned from a creditable spell in Dubai to run third in the coral.co.uk Winter Derby, course scorer Marshgate Lane (Mark Johnston, 7/1), and Listed Quebec Stakes victor Dick Doughtywylie (John Gosden, 10/1).