Nearly Caught went one better than last year when winning the Jockey Club Rose Bowl Stakes at Newmarket.
Hughie Morrison’s stayer is an eight-year-old now, but there are no signs that his star is on the wane.
Only five went to post, and the field was reduced further still when St Michel was pulled up around halfway.
Ben Vrackie took them along, but Nearly Caught breezed past – and while Sheikhzayedroad looked to be travelling strongly, he began to hang when put under pressure and was eventually beaten three and a half lengths.
Morrison said: “I’m absolutely thrilled. Every year he gets better and better. Looking after him as a younger horse (means) we now have a sound horse.
“The irony is having been disqualified in Germany in a Group Two, as a result we’ve been able to run in and win both our Listed races in this country. At the end of the day, the Germans have done us a favour.
“I thought when I saw the entry we had no chance and was it worth even going, (but) obviously the race fell apart for a reason. We’ve a healthy sound horse who is eight and is as tough as old boots. He is a pleasure to train – and I’m delighted for the owner, who is not very well.
“I don’t think there is anything left for him. He needs good ground. He didn’t want that early on, but as he has grown up he is okay on it.”
Nearly Caught’s success was a timely boost for Morrison, who is eagerly looking forward to Marmelo having a second crack at the Emirates Melbourne Cup.
Marmelo finished ninth in the ‘race that stops a nation’ last year, having the caught the eye of many when sixth over an inadequate mile and a half in the Caulfield Cup.
This season Marmelo has not finished outside the first two in four outings and his trainer could not be happier – especially given his work companion has been Nearly Caught.
“I’m glad to say that Marmelo worked all over Nearly Caught on Saturday,” said Morrison.
“As we speak he is arriving in quarantine and he definitely gets in the race.
“The great thing is I’ve won two races with him this season and I think he is going to be weighted about half a kilo less than in last year’s race.
“We are just waiting to see who is available to ride him, but we are very happy with him.”