Nando Parrado at 150-1 left punters shell-shocked in the Coventry Stakes as he ran out the biggest-priced winner in modern times at Royal Ascot.
The Clive Cox-trained youngster was only fifth on his racecourse debut at Newmarket earlier this month, but that did not stop connections from trying the son of Kodiac in the Group Two heat over six furlongs.
Nando Parrado was always prominent before making his bid for honours under Adam Kirby. Qaader was the only horse to put in a real challenge, but Nando Parrado kept up the gallop to cross the line one length to the good. Saeiqa was a further length and a quarter away in third place.
Cox – who teamed up for Group One gold with Kirby in the Commonwealth Cup on Friday – said: “I was just saying it is not a shock. The price was a shock. He is a proper horse and we loved him from the start. It was always the plan to come here, it was just a sideways step on his first run. He came home and thrived from there.
“When the rain came earlier in the week I knew he would be better on good or slower ground than quicker ground. There was a little bit of wavering from the owner. We put him in, then took him out the other morning, as he was not sure we could go for the Coventry, but I persuaded him to get him back in there. I’m sure he won’t mind me telling you that.
“Paul McCartan is a great guy and I’m very pleased to train a winner for him and Marie.”
He went on: “He is a professional and we thought after Newmarket could we turn up and take the right step we intended to. I’m grateful I’ve a great team at home. Jerry McGrath rides this horse at home every day and he has just made all the right steps since he came back from Newmarket. It is great.
“I did back him. I don’t know what price I got. When I saw the price I thought it was a bit of an insult. It’s all about having winners at Royal Ascot and to have two like this is so special.
“You have only got to look at the horse. He has got a real stamp of class about him and he has clearly shown that today.
“I always thought he would be a horse for the autumn rather than the height of summer, so that is what I’d be hopeful of talking to Paul about and planning our way from here. We won’t be rushing him. He will be a miler next year. I’d say he will be more of a Dewhurst horse.
“Trainer of sprinters yesterday and the longest-priced winner today. I’m very happy as long as I’m in the headlines for the right reasons.”