Que Amoro blitzed the opposition to take Listed honours in the EBF Land O’Burns Fillies’ Stakes at Ayr, as racing returned in Scotland after an absence of 98 days due to the coronavirus lockdown.
The Michael Dods-trained four-year-old wasted no time in going one better than on her last start, when she was runner-up to Lady In France at this course and also at Listed level.
The writing was on the wall for her rivals from the moment she broke smartly out of the stalls for Paul Mulrennan.
Que Amoro (3-1) was soon in a rhythm and maintained a strong pace to score by three lengths from American Lady, with Merry Banter in third. The winner’s stablemate, Queen’s Gift, was sent off the 13-8 favourite, but had to settle for fifth place.
Dods said: “Paul was a bit concerned when he got there and it was raining. We think she’s better on faster ground, but she coped with it. It was a good performance in a very fast time (57.12 seconds).
“She’s always been a big filly and over the winter she’s strengthened up even more. Let’s hope she goes on from here.
“She was very impressive and she quickened up again from the furlong pole, which is the sign of a good horse in those sprint races.
“We’ll make a plan, but it will be five furlongs on fast tracks for her really.”
National Anthem transferred his progressive all-weather form to the turf when winning the QTS Investors In Sport Handicap.
Successful in three of his five starts during the winter, David Brown’s five-year-old put in a career-best display on his first run since being gelded.
Always prominent, National Anthem (7-1) was in control in the final furlong under Cam Hardie and scored by three-quarters of length from the strong-finishing Wentworth Falls.
Brown said: “I gelded him because he got a bit gross and he’ll be better the for the run.
“I’ve been waiting to run him on the turf. We started him on the all-weather because it suited us at that time of the year.
“This lay-off time gave me the chance to geld him and bring him on. He wants fast ground on turf really.
“Because he has a lot of speed he had them going a bit faster than they wanted to.”
Brown heaped praise on his Brazilian assistant Vinicius Malaquias.
“He deserves credit because this horse was a bit of tearaway when we got him and took some handling and got to ride him at home.
“He rode 300 winners in Brazil and trained some as well. He’s just a natural horseman and the horses are going well,” he said
National Anthem could turn out quickly, in the Sky Sports Racing Sky 415 Handicap at Doncaster on Friday.
“He’s rated 83. The race is a 0-85 so we get in it and get chance to run. He’s got a 5lb penalty, but is able to run so he might go there,” said Brown.
The distinction of being the first winner since the lockdown north of the border went to Internationaldream (3-1) for the Musley Bank team of trainer Richard Fahey and jockey Tony Hamilton in the QTS Training Maiden Stakes.