Vintage Brut may have a date with the sales ring before a potential outing at Royal Ascot after he maintained his unbeaten record in the Matchbook Commission Free On All Sports National Stakes at Sandown.
Having recorded a 25-1 surprise on his debut at Thirsk, the Tim Easterby-trained son of Dick Turpin showed that to be no fluke when squeezing through the tightest of gaps to take the five-furlong Listed event by a neck under David Allan.
Michael John O’Brien, representing owners Lovely Bubbly Racing, said of the 7-2 winner: “We are very pleased indeed. We put three into training this year and at the beginning of the year we decided this was the worst of the three.
“We also bred his mother, Traditionelle, who gave him such a difficult birth that it nearly killed him. He was a battered foal, we were so worried we might have had to put the mother down, but he got through all that so it might have made him tougher.
“He was just fantastic at Thirsk. My wife has been watching the race from Thirsk twice a day since and she was totally convinced he would be in the first three.
“We will go for the Norfolk at Ascot, but we are considering putting him in the boutique sale before that. We had a lot of offers after the race at Thirsk, but we wanted the Listed race for the mare and we’ve got that now.”
Paddy Power gave the winner an 8-1 quote for the Norfolk, and Allan said: “The form looked good from his first race and we came here thinking he had a strong chance whatever he was up against.
“The gaps came and he quickened up nicely. The owner mentioned Ascot or the sales, so I’m hoping it’s Ascot!”
He added: “I’d definitely recommend five furlongs at the moment. It’s always a pretty strong gallop at Ascot and that would suit him, he’d finish his race strongly.”
Ian Williams may have to rethink plans for Magic Circle following his striking success in the Matchbook VIP Henry II Stakes.
The six-year-old gelding claimed the Chester Cup only 13 days ago and left his rivals standing in this Group Three prize.
Moving smoothly into contention, the Fran Berry-ridden 11-2 shot quickly put daylight between himself and the field before crossing the line six lengths clear of Red Verdon.
He halved in price for the Melbourne Cup at around 20-1, but would need to be supplemented for the Ascot Gold Cup, for which he was introduced at 20-1 by BetVictor.
Williams said: “It has taken me aback a little. I didn’t think winning a Chester Cup would be beyond him, but I thought it would be tough. What he has achieved today has really announced him as a stayer on the big scene.
“He was a bit cold early on and I spent half the race thinking it has come a bit quick for him, but it certainly wasn’t too quick when he was turning in and he travelled up the hill like a very good horse.
“It was our plan to come here and we hoped to be placed and look at going to the Melbourne Cup with him, and that still remains our number one target. What we do between now and then has probably changed a little around today.
“I’m not sure what we will do with him, but the options are open. He looks on performance a far better stayer than we could have imagined he would be.”