Boccaccio demonstrated the best of his battling abilities to maintain his unbeaten record with a tenacious success in the Betway Handicap at Newmarket.
Not sighted since landing a novice event at Kempton in November, the Dubawi colt continued his progression with victory on his seasonal return in the seven-furlong contest.
Despite being headed late on by eventual runner-up Gifted Ruler, the Charlie Appleby-trained 13-8 favourite rallied close to the line to prevail by a short head.
Appleby said: “He is a nice horse and is now unbeaten in three starts. Today he was a little bit raw and he will learn plenty again. He was courageous to put his head down at the right time.
“I think he is about ready for another step up in grade now. We will probably have a look at a Listed race for him.
“I think he will improve a lot for that, as you could see in the paddock he is a burly colt.”
The Newmarket handler also issued an update on Coronation Cup winner Ghaiyyath ahead of his eagerly-awaited clash with Enable in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown.
He said: “He worked well this morning. It was nice straightforward work. Hopefully we will have a good week and we are looking forward to next weekend.
“There is no doubt that he is a different animal to last year in his post-race condition.”
Arigato continued his impressive start to the season to make it back-to-back wins at the track with victory in the Heed Your Hunch At Betway Handicap.
The William Jarvis-trained five-year-old defied an 8lb hike in the weights to claim the seven-furlong prize by a length from Blown By Wind.
Jarvis said of the 3-1 winner: “He went up 8lb for his last win. I had a word with the handicapper as I wanted six and he was going to put him up 10 so we met halfway.
“There is no rhyme nor reason why he should be a better five-year-old than four-year-old, but he is in the form of his life.
“If he could creep into the Bunbury Cup that would be his aim as he seems to be a seven-furlong specialist.”