Pagan looks a sprinter bound for bigger and better things judged on an impressive display in the Harry Bloom Memorial “Brighton Bullet”.
After filling the runner-up spot on his first two starts of the season at Doncaster and Yarmouth, the William Haggas-trained gelding made it third time lucky in a first-time tongue-tie at Pontefract in June.
He again had to make do with second place on his most recent appearance at York, but was backed as if defeat was out of the question in the feature event on the third and final day of Brighton’s Festival of Racing meeting.
After looking a little uneasy on the undulating course during the early stages, Pagan was switched to the far side of the track to launch his challenge in the straight and found a quick change of gear to run down his rivals in a matter of strides.
Endowed finished best of the rest, but the 10-11 favourite was well on top and passed the post with two and a half lengths in hand under David Probert.
“There’s a bit of a strong headwind and I wasn’t sure how he’d handle the track. I just wanted to get a nice lead into the race and we’ve done that with a strong pace in front of us,” the jockey told Sky Sports Racing.
“He was able to get into a nice rhythm and once we got racing up the middle I was able to get a nice split up the inside and away he went.
“It felt as though he went through the gears quite nicely and when he hit top gear he felt pretty smart in the last half-furlong.”
Pagan’s victory was the middle leg of a treble on the card for Probert, who also rode two winners for Mick Channon.
The rider’s first success came aboard 13-8 favourite Wonderful World, who opened his account in the EBF Restricted Novice Stakes.
Runner-up to the high-class Chipotle in the Brocklesby at Doncaster in March, the Bungle Inthejungle colt was a narrowly beaten on third on his second start at Bath.
Making his first appearance since that April outing, Wonderful World showed his class with a four-and-a-quarter-length win – leaving connections considering a possible tilt at the Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury next month.
Jack Channon, assistant to his father, said: “He’s a nice horse and we thought quite a bit of him – we ran him in the Brocklesby and actually thought he’d probably win that day, but bumped into Chipotle.
“He had a little setback during his run at Bath, which is why he’s had a little bit of time off, but he’s come back in great form.
“He was entitled to do that (win today) and we’re just pleased to get him back on the track and enjoying himself again.
“We’ll see what the handicapper does. If he gives us a chance, we might look at a nursery and then maybe on to the Mill Reef after that.”
Probert and Channon were soon on the mark again, with Adace a 9-1 winner of the following vickers.bet Bet 10 Get 20 Handicap.
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