Deputise (William Haggas/Tom Marquand, 4/1) qualified for All-Weather Championships Finals Day when successful in the £14,000 Ladbrokes Conditions Race (6.45pm) at Wolverhampton on Saturday, December 8.
The six-furlong Tapeta contest was a Fast-Track Qualifier for the £150,000 Ladbrokes Three-Year-Old All-Weather Championships over the same distance on Polytrack at Lingfield Park on All-Weather Championships Finals Day, Good Friday, April 19. Today's success means Deputise has now gained a free and guaranteed place in the very valuable Good Friday contest.
A son of Kodiac, Deputise was settled in midfield as She Can Boogie (Tom Dascombe/Liam Jones, 12/1) set the pace with 2/1 favourite Quiet Endeavour (Archie Watson/Edward Greatrex) in close pursuit.
Deputise moved up into a challenging position turning for home and took the lead inside the final furlong. Shining Armour (John Ryan/Franny Norton, 10/1) stayed on strongly close home but Deputise held on well to win by a head. You Never Can Tell (Richard Spencer/Graham Lee, 9/2) was slow leaving the stalls but came home well to take third, another length and a quarter adrift.
The winning time was 1m 13.59s
Winning jockey Tom Marquand said: "Deputise has more than earned his place for Good Friday.
"Fair play to the horse, as he was extremely gutsy late on. I thought we were going to get swallowed up for a few strides but he was pretty tenacious.
"He is obviously a strong improver and to come on again and win a race like that shows he has done really well.
"I can imagine Finals Day will suit him beautifully and hopefully there will be some fun to be had with him.
"I think Lingfield should definitely suit him. He has got loads of boot and to be fair, six furlongs around Lingfield would probably be more up his street than six furlongs around here.
"We went a nice gallop. They took each other on a bit out in front, I was able to get my horse switched off in behind and I was fairly happy with the position I had. Coming into the final furlong, I was just wishing they had gone a bit slower as it felt like I was running out of petrol a bit but as soon he got joined, he just found and found. The tank was a bit fuller than I thought it was!
"Turning in, I was confident enough I was going to get to the front easy enough. It was just about doing it at the right time to make it work."
Deputise (right) on his way to victory at Wolverhampton
There was compensation for John Ryan, trainer of the runner-up Shining Armour, when the well-backed Grey Britain (9st 9lb, Adam Kirby, 2/1 favourite) was the emphatic two and half-length winner of the most valuable race of the night, the £19,000 Betway Heed Your Hunch Handicap (7.45pm) over a mile and a half.
Newmarket-based Ryan said: "It was not a surprise to see Grey Britain win.
"We have had to be very patient. His owners (Graham Smith-Bernal & Alex Smith) have been superstars all year and allowed me to take my time. He won at the Guineas meeting and then the ground went too firm for him all year. The ground was too firm for all the serious races you would want to go for with a horse like this.
"We have brought him back for a winter campaign. We were probably a bit unlucky in the November Handicap at Doncaster as the race turned into a sprint which didn't suit him. Everyone thought the horse was finished but we knew he wasn't at home.Last time out here he ran a great race over a mile and a quarter which is probably too short for him.
"Adam, as Adam does, gave him an absolutely perfect ride. There is no better man around here.
"I was thrilled with Shining Armour's run. It was a big step coming here and I should think a few people looked and thought 'silly boy what are you doing'. If you are going to aim a horse high, you have got to find out where you are at this time of year as it makes it a totally different plan as to what you are going to do over the winter.
"Shining Armour proved tonight that he can live with them and we will definitely roll the dice again with him.
"The big picture with both Grey Britain and Shining Armour is that there is some money to be won during the winter. Mr Smith-Bernal and Gerry McGladery (owner of Shining Armour) are good supporters of mine and hopefully I can pay them back."