Southampton striker Charlie Austin expressed his delight after seeing Another Batt claim victory on the opening night of the Dubai Carnival.
The George Scott-trained four-year-old has been a fine servant to Austin and the other members of the Excel Racing syndicate which owns him – winning at Ripon, Ayr and in Turkey in 2017 before adding to his tally at Chester last May.
He rounded off last season by finishing a creditable fourth in the Balmoral Handicap on Champions Day at Ascot, and looks an improved performer judged on his comeback success at Meydan on Thursday.
Austin told Sky Sports Racing: “He’s taken us all over the place. He won in Turkey and now he’s won in Meydan.
“To have a runner at the (Dubai) Carnival is special, but to have a winner is delightful.
“He ran on Champions Day, and at the end of the season I was wondering whether to sell him – but George (Scott) told me not to and stuck to his guns and made sure we didn’t.
“We knew he would like the ground yesterday, and Connor (Beasley, jockey) gave him a great ride.”
Another Batt is likely to step up to Pattern company on his next start – and while Austin would love to be there to see him and the other syndicate horses in action, his focus is very much on the day job, with Southampton battling against relegation from the Premier League.
Austin added: “We’re very pleased with him, and now we have to rethink what we’re going to do. He’ll stay out there now, and I think he’ll have to go up to Group company. I think there’s a race for him on January 24.
“I love the sport – it’s something that I really enjoy – and I’m looking forward to the season ahead.
“Hopefully I can get to watch the horses – that would be nice – but we’ll try and get out of this relegation battle at the moment.”