Smart bumper performer Ocean Wind got off the mark on the Flat as he took the Betway Maiden Stakes in impressive fashion for Roger Teal at Lingfield.
The four-year-old won two of his four starts under National Hunt rules and was a highly creditable sixth in the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham in March, before reappearing on the level at this track earlier in the month.
Again ridden by Jack Mitchell, the Teofilo gelding was sent off at 11-8 behind the odds-on John Locke and stayed on strongly from two out to record an ultimately ready three-and-a-quarter-length success.
Teal told Sky Sports Racing: “He’s not over-big, so the plan was to try the Flat before we went jumping, if we were going to go jumping, and if he had enough speed to win on the Flat and he showed today he has.
“I was just worried it might be a tad short for him, but fair play – Jack made his mind up a long way out and made a decisive move. He made his stamina count.
“He’d done nothing wrong in his bumpers, he was very impressive and I still think he’d have run a better race at Cheltenham, but the way it worked out he got shuffled back on the heavy ground that day – he had to make a big move and was then left in no man’s land when the first five kicked away and he came out of the pack.
“He’s still learning his trade and he’s an exciting little horse. He only does enough in his work at home.”
On the future for his winner, Teal – who struck Group One gold with Oxted in the July Cup – said: “Looking at the way he’s won there we’ll probably stick on the Flat and see how far it takes us. He’s going to be an exciting stayer going forward.
“The last few weeks have been a bit frustrating, we’ve had seconds and thirds but no winners and thankfully he’s got us off the list.
“It’s been a great season and hopefully we’ve got some nice horses we haven’t run yet to come out, so hopefully we can put a few more on the board.”