Big Country is set to be a regular at Lingfield over the next few months as connections hope to make hay, culminating in the All-Weather Championships on Good Friday.
The five-year-old showed his liking for Polytrack at the Surrey venue when going close on his first visit there.
Mick Appleby’s charge led in the final furlong, only to be caught at the post in the Churchill Stakes and beaten a neck by last year’s winner Master The World, to whom he was conceding 3lb.
“He ran well and just got collared at the end. He was carrying a 3lb penalty, and that cost him really,” said the Oakham trainer.
“He’ll carry on through the winter. There’s the Winter Derby, the (Easter) Classic and a race before the Winter Derby as well. There’s some nice prize-money up for grabs.”