Sir Dancealot showed the fire still burns bright with a clear-cut success in the Hird Rail Group Park Stakes for David Elsworth at Doncaster.
The 11-4 winner had four lengths to make up on the favourite Shine So Bright from their last meeting at York, but those exertions had obviously left a mark on Andrew Balding’s grey, as after attempting to make all again he dropped away quite tamely.
Sir Dancealot – now a five-year-old and winning for the 10th time – quickened smartly for Gerald Mosse when asked and beat Never No More by a length and a half.
Elsworth is now aiming for a big prize on Arc day in Paris next month.
“He’s in great shape, it probably wasn’t the toughest encounter he’s had this year, so that helped,” he said.
“He was giving us good, encouraging signs at home and he goes for the (Prix de la) Foret on (Prix de) l’Arc (de Triomphe) day.
“He’ll need a bit of luck there, had we not gone well here we could have easily come unstuck in Paris. It was a calculated risk, but we’ve picked up some money along the way.”
Mosse said: “I travelled nice and easy, I made my move a bit early, but in the last furlong and a half he was playing with them.
“He’s a lovely horse with a massive engine and is a beautiful mover. Normally on quick ground he can hang a bit, but he ran straight to the line today.
“I’ve just come back from a suspension, so I was a bit fresh, but this is my last ride today and it’s great to get a winner.”