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Significantly strikes in opening Fast-Track Qualifier

Significantly enjoyed a much-deserved success at Newcastle on Tuesday in the Play Ladbrokes 5-A-Side On Football Conditions Stakes over six furlongs, the first Fast-Track Qualifier of the eighth All-Weather Championships.

Trained by Karl Burke, Significantly had placed in six of his seven starts heading into today's contest, including a second in the Listed Dragon Stakes at Sandown Park in July. The Garswood colt was last seen out when third, beaten a neck, in a maiden at Haydock Park on September 25.

A change of tactics today by jockey Clifford Lee appeared to make the difference as Significantly settled into a good rhythm at the head of affairs. The pair took a couple of lengths out of the field passing the two-furlong pole and stayed on well to repel the rallying Even money favourite Yazaman (William Haggas/Danny Tudhope) by three quarters of a length. Victory Heights (James Tate/PJ McDonald, 4/1) was a neck further back in third.

The winner is now guaranteed a free start in the valuable Ladbrokes Three-Year-Old All-Weather Championship over six furlongs at Lingfield Park on All-Weather Championships Finals Day, Good Friday, April 2.

Burke, who won this race in 2017 with Beatbox Rhythm, said: "I am delighted that Significantly has got his head in front today and this was a nice race to do it in.

"We decided to target this race a month or so ago and it is doubly pleasing because this race is also part of the Plus 10 Bonus scheme, which he is eligible for.

"The race just dropped nicely as we decided beforehand that we were not going to pull him around and would instead allow him to use himself. The others allowed us an easy lead and it has worked out well.

"He has a big, big engine this horse. I should have run him at Royal Ascot. I am not saying he would have won the Norfolk, but he would have definitely been up the backside of the first few home there. He is a little quirky, but hopefully today will give him a bit of confidence.

"I have not thought much beyond today really, but I am pretty sure he will have a break now. He ran on the first day of the season and today was his eighth start, although he still looks great for it.

"I suspect we will aim towards Good Friday now, with a run beforehand in February a possibility."

Lee said: "I would say everyone will be delighted to get this lad's head in front, especially myself, the boss and the owner.

"Today was different tactics and we decided to use more of him rather than getting plenty of cover, and he seemed to enjoy it.

"I was pretty confident throughout as I was always travelling well. It is a stiff finish here and they do come back at you, but the tactics have clearly improved him a little bit.

"He definitely has a bit more in the tank too as he was not giving me everything in the last furlong, which is nice and should mean there is more improvement in him.

"This is more of a galloping track compared to Lingfield, and he does feel like more of a galloping horse, but as long as he is sharp away from the gates, I don't see why Lingfield would be a problem."

Significantly (red) winning on Tueday, picture All Weather Championships

           
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