Waldkonig produced an astonishing performance on debut at Wolverhampton to earn quotes for next year’s Derby.
Bred to be very good being a Kingman half-brother to Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe hero Waldgeist, the John Gosden-trained colt powered down the Dunstall Park straight in the manner of a very smart performer in his own right.
The 6-4 favourite was ridden by Robert Havlin, who told Sky Sports Racing: “He impressed me, he’d been showing some nice work at home, but you never know – first day at school.
“He did a lot wrong, he was hanging, just through greenness down the back.
“I don’t think I’ve ridden in a race where we started going even slower and slower from the four to pass the three, so I thought, ‘I’ve got to get out and do something now’, as he is a big, rangy horse, with a good old stride on him.
“He quickened up good and he kept at it. He’s got a good attitude and you probably won’t see him now until next spring.”
He added: “Let’s hope he can get to the standard of Waldgeist, that would be nice.
“He’s done everything right first time, there’s not a bother on him and he’s not worried about anything, so it’s great.”
Bookmakers were clearly impressed, with RaceBets slashing Waldkonig’s odds for Epsom to 14-1 from 50-1.
Garry Coffey, racing manager to Newsells Stud, who bred and own the winner in partnership with Gestut Ammerland’s Dietrich von Boetticher, said: “It was terrific, he’s a very nice horse.
“He’s from a family which is very close to us at Newsells and obviously Waldgeist is the older brother. It’s great to see him win on debut like that.
“He’s been working well at home and I know John has been happy with him, but any horse that wins like that makes you go into the winter very happy.”
Elsewhere on the card, the feature Ladbrokes “Play 1-2-Free” On Football Conditions Stakes – a fast-track qualifier for All-Weather Championships Finals Day – went to the Hollie Doyle-ridden Maystar (8-1), trained by Archie Watson.
Doyle, who on Thursday set a new record for number of winners in a calendar year by a female jockey, said: “It has been an awesome week and it is great to get a winner on the board for Archie and Hambleton Racing.
“Maystar has always shown ability at home – his last run was a bit disappointing but he has been gelded and has been electric at home recently. It’s great to get his head back in front.
“His work is always better from the front at home and he won from the front as an early two-year-old. It was quite a task to win off 91 but he has done it nicely. He is a tough horse and seven furlongs won’t be an issue for him.”