Grandeur made a winning return to the UK when completing a double for Ryan Moore in the coral.co.uk Winter Derby Trial Stakes at Lingfield.
Jeremy Noseda’s charge has spent time in America in the past and was last seen finishing down the field in a Sha Tin Grade One, but that did not stop supporters backing him into 4-5 favouritism.
Settled just off the principals by Moore, the grey flashed into the lead over a furlong from home and though Modernstone was finishing fast, Grandeur still had three-quarters of a length in hand at the line.
Noseda said: “Grandeur is a grand horse. He’s tough, consistent and you can’t ask for anything more than that. He hit the front much too early, but Ryan has travelled well and he has kept it simple – Grandeur is never going to be a horse that wins by that far. He is a good enough horse to hold on against that level of competition.
“The plan coming into today was to make sure we qualified for the �200,000 race on Good Friday and we will discuss about coming back for the Winter Derby. He has the option of going to Dubai for the Sheema Classic and I’ll have a chat with Yvonne (Jacques) and decide.
“Personally, I would come here for the Winter Derby because I think that he would go into the race and the Good Friday race with a favourite’s chance.”
Moore had earlier struck with Marco Botti’s Grey Mirage (2-1 favourite) in the seven-furlong Ladbrokes Handicap.
Tarooq stormed up the far rail to claim a thrilling renewal of the Compare Bookmakers At bookmakers.co.uk Cleves Stakes. This was a Fast-Track Qualifier for the big All-Weather Championship Finals Day card back at the Surrey venue on Good Friday, and Graham Gibbons got a lovely split around a furlong out to power into contention
Rivellino had put down his challenge around the same time as always prominent pair Ballista and Ladies Are Forever gave way, but it was the David Barron-trained Tarooq who had the edge by a head, with fellow 5-1 co-favourite Hoof It flashing home best of all to be the same distance away in third.
Gibbons said: “Tarooq loves it at Lingfield and he knows his way round. They didn’t really go a million miles an hour for the first furlong and then took off up the hill, so I got him at it a bit coming down the hill. We always know he is going to finish his race. Coming on the inside is the shortest way around.
“He is definitely worth his place in the line-up on finals day. He is going to be taking on pretty much the same horses and will take a bit of beating.”Read the rest of the story British Horseracing Authority News Headlines