Battleground showed his rivals a clean pair of heels as he ran out an impressive winner of the Veuve Clicquot Vintage Stakes at Goodwood.
Trained by Aidan O’Brien, Battleground is certainly bred to be a champion as the first foal of Arc winner Found, by top sire War Front.
After showing infinite promise when fifth on his debut in June, Battleground stepped up to claim the Listed Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot and he added a Group Two prize with the minimum of fuss on the Downs.
Sent off the 13-8 favourite, Battleground was settled in behind the pace-setting pair of Thunder Of Niagara and King Zain, racing three wide in around fifth place until Moore opted to kick on between the two- and three-furlong markers.
Battleground took a couple of strides to get going, but more than had the measure of second-placed Devious Company, triumphing by two lengths. Youth Spirit was a further length and a quarter back in third.
O’Brien said: “We were very happy with him at home and we just thought it was a lovely race for experience for him. The ground was lovely and safe and I think Ryan was very happy with him.
“We would be thinking his next run would be the National Stakes if everything was well, but he’s a horse we’ve always loved.
“He’s very genuine and a big, powerful horse and that’s the way she (Found) was as well.”
Battleground is 8-1 favourite for next year’s 2000 Guineas with Paddy Power, while Betway go 10-1 about Newmarket and 16-1 about the Derby.
O’Brien thinks a mile will be his trip, adding: “We thought he would be a miler probably – he’s got speed, he’s a strong traveller and he is by War Front and out of Found, so we thought he’d get a mile.
“Obviously all our two-year-olds got a little bit messed up at the start of the season, then we had to rush some of them to get to Ascot, so that wasn’t ideal.
“It’s very early for horses yet and an awful lot of horses will come out – some will improve, some will stand still and some will go back.”