William Haggas saw his hard work and perseverance rewarded after Young Rascal got his career back on track in the Dubai Duty Free Legacy Cup Stakes at Newbury.
Not sighted since finishing seventh in the Investec Derby, the son of Intello made up for lost time when claiming his second Group Three contest of the season, and is set to have his sights raised once more.
Having raced prominently and travelled into it well, the 5-2 shot looked booked for third at the furlong pole – but with one final effort the Chester Vase hero lunged close to the line to deny Mirage Dancer – from whom he was receiving 6lb – by a short head.
Haggas said: “He loved the ground, you could see by his action, and he looked happy. It was an exciting race.
“He ran in the Derby like his legs were tied together from flag-fall and it knocked the stuffing out of him.
“I thought he would stay, as he just keeps galloping. He (Jim Crowley) was sensible as he went to Ryan (Moore, on Mirage Dancer) very early in the straight and made him race, which was important.
“This horse is a strong galloper. He looked different today, he hasn’t been like that at home and maybe it’s racing he wants. This is the first time he has been in a race where he could run on soft ground.”
Assessing plans, Haggas said: “For me the right race is the Chaudenay, which is a Group Two over a mile-seven on Arc weekend, but it’s only two weeks away.
“If it came up soft in Paris we would be very tempted to go. He is not in yet, but there is a supplementary on September 28. I think we will put him in.
“He is not in the Long Distance Cup (on Champions Day), I think that is a tough race for a three-year-old, but we could maybe go for the Conseil de Paris, which is a Group Two.”