Lord Of The Lodge justified favouritism in the Ladbrokes Where The Nation Plays Conditions Stakes at Newcastle.
Second in the Gimcrack when he was last seen, Karl Burke’s colt always looked to have matters under control.
Ridden by the red-hot Ben Curtis, who was jetting off to Dubai immediately after the race, the Dandy Man colt was sent off the 11-10 favourite and he was never far from the front before forging on well over a furlong out.
Curtis had to shake him up as Desert Safari challenged, but when that rival dropped away and Lord Of The Lodge went on to win by a length and three-quarters, with Amarillo Star staying on for second.
The valuable Bombardier British Hopped Amber Beer Handicap went the way of Michael Wigham’s Sannaadh (10-1).
Pulled up on his last appearance on New Year’s Eve with a reported breathing problem, he came home strongly to beat a classy field under Joe Fanning.
Rathbone was second with Glen Shiel third, Oh This Is Us fourth and Keyser Soze fifth. The third, fourth and fifth are all rated 100 or more.