Gosden & Havlin Get Punters Smiling

Just As Well half-brother wins well

Progressive three-year Wissahickon took the step up to Listed company in his stride with an authoritative victory in the £37,000 Betway Quebec Stakes – one of two odds-on winners for Newmarket trainer John Gosden and jockey Robert Havlin at Lingfield Park on Saturday.

John Gosden (photo: Investec)

John Gosden (photo: Investec)

Wissahickon, a Tapit half-borther to Spring Valley sire Just As Well, was sent off a red-hot 2/5 favourite on his All-Weather return following an impressive victory in the Cambridgeshire Heritage Handicap at Newmarket on September 29, was covered up in fourth on the inside early on as Big Country (9/2, Michael Appleby/Luke Morris) led the seven runners at a steady pace.

Big Country ran wide on the home turn, impeding both Villette (40/1, Dean Ivory/Rob Hornby) and Scarlet Dragon (10/1, Alan King/Martin Harley), as Wissahickon quickened strongly on the inside to hit the front approaching the final furlong.

The Tapit colt powered clear in the closing stages of the 10-furlong contest to score by two and a quarter lengths from Big Country in 2m 4.66s, with a neck back to Scarlet Dragon in third and a further short-head to Goring (14/1, Eve Johnson Houghton/Charles Bishop) in fourth.

Havlin said: “It is important to get Wissahickon into a nice rhythm, which he did, but I thought that we could have gone a stride quicker. Reading between the lines beforehand, that was always going to happen. I think the Winter Derby (G3, February 23) and then the Easter Classic (£1-million Finals Day, Good Friday, April 19) is the plan and hopefully it is onwards and upwards.”

Gosden and Havlin completed a near even-money double with 2/5 favourite Ghazawaat in the mile £15,500 Ladbrokes Home Of The Odds Boost/EBF Stallions Breeding Winners Fillies’ Conditions Race.

The three-year-old daughter of Siyouni, who joined the Newmarket trainer earlier this year having previously raced for Jean-Claude Rouget in France, stayed on well to take up the running over a furlong from home, but had to be kept up to her work to prevail by a length a half from Pride’s Gold (9/4, Simon Crisford/Jack Mitchell).

It was a third appearance of this season’s All-Weather Championships for the Hamdan Al Maktoum-owned filly, who could now head for the seven-furlong £150,000 Ladbrokes All-Weather Championships Fillies And Mares Final on Good Friday.

About the All-Weather Championships:

Season six of the All-Weather Championships runs from Tuesday, October 23, 2018 and culminates with All-Weather Championships Finals Day on Good Friday, April 19, 2019, at Lingfield Park. The seven races on All-Weather Championships Finals Day are worth a total of £1 million.

The six championship categories are:

£150,000 Three-Year-Olds sponsored by Ladbrokes – 6f Final

£150,000 Fillies & Mares sponsored by Ladbrokes – 7f Final

£150,000 Mile sponsored by Sun Racing – 1m Final

£150,000 Sprint sponsored by Betway – 6f Final

£150,000 Marathon sponsored by Betway – 2m Final

£200,000 Middle Distance sponsored Betway – 10f Final

There are two ways for horses to qualify for one of the finals on All-Weather Championships Finals Day at Lingfield Park:

* A horse can win a ‘Fast Track Qualifier’ race which will ensure a FREE and GUARANTEED place in the corresponding final on Good Friday. There are four Fast Track Qualifiers in each of the six Championship Categories hosted at racecourses in Great Britain, Ireland and France. If a filly wins any of the Fast-Track Qualifier races for either the Sprint or the Mile categories, the filly will be qualified for the final of that specific category, or for the Fillies and Mares Final.


* A horse must run a minimum of three times on the All-Weather surfaces in Great Britain, Ireland and France; or twice on the All-Weather surfaces in Great Britain, Ireland, France and once on dirt in Dubai during the qualifying period between October 23, 2018 and the six-day entry stage for the finals (Saturday, April 13, 2019) and then be rated high enough to ‘make the cut’ in a final by order of its BHA Rating.

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