Shouldvebeenaring confirmed form with Alpha Capture to win the BetUK Conditions Stakes at Southwell this evening.
Victory in the six-furlong Fast-Track Qualifier provides the Richard Hannon-trained colt with a guaranteed start in the £150,000 All-Weather Three-Year-Old Championships at Newcastle on Good Friday.
Shouldvebeenaring had Alpha Capture a length and a half in arrears when they filled the places behind Never Just A Dream at Newcastle in October but William Haggas’ runner was sent off the evens favourite to reverse the form.
Outsider Glorious Angel adopted her customary front-running tactics, with Alpha Capture second and Shouldvebeenaring switched off in last place by Sean Levey. The three runners fanned out in the straight and were all in contention approaching the final furlong.
Shouldvebeenaring worked his way into the lead soon after and had enough in the tank to hold off the rallying Alpha Capture by three quarters of a length, with Glorious Angel a length and a half further back in third.
Levey said of the 11/8 winner: “Shouldvebeenaring deserved this. It is hard to have a total gauge on him on the back of that because he is a clever horse who holds back a little bit for himself.
“I thought he had the race won at the two-furlong marker without going away from the field. I think that is mainly because he holds back a little bit.
“I am delighted for everyone at Middleham Park and hopefully they will have a good time with him this year.”
This was a fourth career success for Shouldvebeenaring, with a valuable sales race at York and the Listed Ripon Two-Year-Old Trophy among his other wins.
Neil Buckman, a member of the Middleham Park Racing syndicate, said: “It is always a thrill. York was brilliant and it is a dream come true [to have a horse like him]. He has won four now and I think he will win again.
“I had a cardiac arrest just as he was coming back in to the winner’s enclosure at Ripon. I held up racing for about 17 minutes, unfortunately! But I survived and am living the dream again.
“I cannot wait for the rest of the year with him. I think I may have to fly up to Newcastle as it is a long drive from where I am based in Cheltenham, but I have got to go now.