Roberto Escobarr rules for Haggas in Henry II Stakes

Roberto Escobarr gained his first success since June 2021 when making all the running to win the Racehorse Lotto Henry II Stakes at Sandown.

Trained by William Haggas, the son of Galileo is now six but in his younger days looked destined to be winning races like this Group Two event when taking a Listed contest at York on just his fifth ever outing.

He only made it to the track once in 2022 and was returning from 399 days off when third at Wolverhampton in March.

Fitter for that, he was sent off the 7-5 favourite and Richard Kingscote sent him into an early lead and was never headed.

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Nate The Great pestered him all the way to the line, but the winner was always holding him and prevailed by a neck.

Haggas’ charge was cut to 10-1 from 14s for the Northumberland Plate by Betfair.

Richard Knight, representing owner Hussain Alabbas Lootah, said: “In fairness to him, he was off a lot of last year and we brought him back and hoped he would qualify for the All-Weather Finals day. He was just a little bit rusty in the qualifier and finished third.

“We have just been waiting for this quicker ground. He wants this good, good to firm ground and he is slightly unexposed over two miles.

“It is lovely for him to win his Group race and his brother Pablo Escobar also won his Group race.

“He is as genuine as anything and Richard said he was always comfortable in front and he stuck his head down and fought to the line.

“We haven’t discussed any further than today. We are slightly ground dependent. We just don’t want to run on soft ground.”

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