Passionova puts down early Royal Ascot marker

While the temperature may have been hovering around freezing at Lingfield, trainer George Baker was already dreaming of Royal Ascot following the impressive victory of Passionova.

Mummy Bear was expected to give Ryan Moore another winner in the Ladbrokes Watch Racing Online For Free Fillies’ Novice Stakes – but Richard Hannon’s odds-on shot had no answer to Passionova, who was having just her second run.

Sent off a 15-2 chance, the three-year-old looked a different proposition to when finishing sixth on debut.

Passionova (left) has big-race ambitions later in the year
Passionova (left) has big-race ambitions later in the year (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Ahead of her that day was Mahale and it was that rival who chased her home on this occasion, but this time Passionova was five and a half lengths to the good.

Baker said: “I’ve always liked her and she was a lovely filly to pick up at the breeze-up sale.

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“I’ve given her plenty of time and she’s really stepped up today and she’ll go further.

“Shane (Kelly) was very impressed to the extent that he mentioned the Sandringham, which is very exciting, and I think we’ll put her away and wait for the turf.”

Galahad Threepwood could be a decent prospect for Mick Channon given the way he followed up a recent win in the Betway Apprentice Handicap.

He scored on his handicap debut at the track last month, but was 6lb higher in a better race on this occasion.

Galahad Threepwood and George Bass lead the field
Galahad Threepwood and George Bass lead the field (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

George Bass offset that with his 5lb claim and the way he beat the well-bred John Gosden runner Moohareeba by four lengths suggested he probably would have won without that.

Assistant trainer Jack Channon said of the 4-6 favourite: “He really has turned a corner between three and four and is very progressive.

“He clearly loves this track. We’re very happy with the way he did it and my first inclination would be that he will have a short break before we look at other options, including on turf.”

Bass said: “It’s nice that I’m getting quite a few rides for outside stables, but even nicer that that was one for the boss and he’s a real progressive individual as you saw.”

Cieren Fallon (left) drives Twilight Heir to victory
Cieren Fallon (left) drives Twilight Heir to victory (Alan Crowhirst/PA)

Cieren Fallon was on the board for Qatar Racing as Twilight Heir (3-1) won the Get Your Ladbrokes Daily Odds Boost Handicap.

His sole success last year came at Catterick and while he only had two to beat, he was the outsider of the three for Michael Bell.

“Mr Bell has done a really good job with this horse. I’ve sat on him a few times at home and he’s an easy ride,” said Fallon, who flies out to Saudi Arabia next week for the mount on Oxted on the Saudi Cup undercard.

“He jumped a bit awkward and I rode it like a piece of work. I didn’t want to get done for a turn of foot so I kept him rolling down the hill. He’s done really well through the winter this horse.”

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