Ted improving ahead of Lingfield run
Ted Spread will be looking to build on a promising return to the Flat in the £25,000 32Red Conditions Stakes over two miles at Lingfield Park.
Saturday's race is a Fast-Track Qualifier for the £150,000 32Red Casino Marathon on All-Weather Championships Finals Day on Good Friday, April 18.
Suzy Smith's seven-year-old was beaten a neck into third by Arch Villain and Communicator in the 32Red Conditions Stakes over the same course and distance in January on what was his first run on the Flat since October 2011.
A high-class performer for Newmarket handler Mark Tompkins, annexing the Group Three Chester Vase in 2010, but won only one of his seven starts over hurdles for Paul Nicholls prior to joining Smith over the summer.
Smith, who has acquired the services of Adam Kirby on Saturday, reported: "Ted Spread has been working very well and obviously ran a very good race at Lingfield last time. That was his first run on the Flat for well over two years and, although it is very competitive again on Saturday, I would expect him to run as well if not a little bit better.
"When we first got him he wasn't really showing us much on the gallops, but he seems to be improving and finding a lot more than he used to. All of his previous Flat form is over shorter, but I think two miles is more up his street these days.
"He loved the surface at Lingfield last time and, as long as he gets luck in running, he should run well.
"I don't think he will get in the County Hurdle at Cheltenham and I don't think that race would suit him that well anyway. He is better on a sharper, flatter track and we have quite a few options with him after Saturday.
"We can go back hurdling, I'm also quite keen to put him over fences and there is also All-Weather Championships Finals Day to consider. We only ran him in the Fast-Track Qualifier last time because the ground was too soft to send him over hurdles but afterwards Luke Morris said it's worth considering Finals Day.
"We will see how he gets on at the weekend and, if he runs a nice race like last time, then we will probably end up going for the final. It's a £150,000 race, so you can't ignore it."
A field of 11 is set to go to post for the 32Red Conditions Stakes headed by Polytrack specialist Castilo Del Diablo (David Simcock/Jamie Spencer), who steps up to two miles, as well as impressive Wolverhampton scorers Litigant (Seamus Durack/George Baker) and Be Perfect (Dandy Nicholls/Adrian Nicholls).
Lingfield Park's seven-race card begins at 1.10pm and also features a £20,000 Class 2 bookmakers.co.uk Handicap over five furlongs.