Lingfield Park win seals Crossed Baton's place at next year's All-Weather Championships Finals Day
Enable’s lead horse Crossed Baton booked himself a place at next year’s All-Weather Championships Finals Day with a smooth success in the Lingfield Park-hosted £37,000 Listed Betway Churchill Stakes on Saturday.
The John Gosden-trained four-year-old, who had only appeared on two previous occasions this season, is now guaranteed a free start in the feature £200,000 Betway Easter Classic over the same course and distance on Good Friday, April 10, 2020.
Crossed Baton’s success – with jockey Frankie Dettori in the saddle after stable-mate Lord North was withdrawn earlier that morning – was the concluding leg of a treble for champion trainer Gosden, following the victories of Alrajaa and Scentasia earlier on the card.
The Clarehaven Stables trainer said: “Crossed Baton is one of Enable’s main lead horses.
“He can take her along at a nice pace and then she says ‘goodbye’. I think he was completely shocked today that he sat last and then swung around them.
“Crossed Baton has got the ability. I ran him at Epsom the last twice, which probably was not the smartest move in the world as that isn’t his track.
“He is a grand horse and has a very important role in the stable. We will see how everything unfolds and what our plans are.
“His number one job is being a lead horse but it would be lovely to bring him back here if he’s in good form and Enable is not in fast work at the time.”
Meanwhile, the victorious Dettori added: “The plan was to make the running but he jumped awkwardly and nearly ripped my boot off.
“I had to switch to plan B, ride him for luck, and fortunately he came good for me.
“This poor fella has to see Enable’s bum every day, so it is nice to get his head in front for once.”
Crossed Baton is the second horse from Gosden’s stable to have rubber stamped an automatic spot at Finals Day following Scentasia’s win at the same track on October 31.