Roman Mist provided Tom Ward the biggest success of his training career to date after coming out on top in a thrilling three-way finish to the Racing TV Snowdrop Fillies’ Stakes at Kempton.
Runner-up on her seasonal reappearance at the Sunbury venue three weeks ago, Roman Mist was a 9-2 chance to go one better and secure Listed honours in the hands of Richard Kingscote.
The daughter of Holy Roman Emperor was strongly pressed by both 2-1 shot Potapova and 5-4 favourite My Astra in the dying strides, but held them at bay by a head and a neck respectively.
Ward, who spent several years as assistant to leading trainer Richard Hannon before going it alone in 2019, was understandably thrilled.
He said: “What a filly. I couldn’t watch the last 100 yards. She was just idling a bit as she had been in front for a long time and she was half waiting for them to come to her.
“For a filly who was rated 63 last year to win a Listed race is a huge hike and hopefully there are even bigger days to come.
“It is a huge step in my career. It is massive to get something like this under the belt. We’ve got a really good team of young staff and horses and hopefully we can carry it on.
“She is an amazing flagbearer and to do that today, I’m sort of speechless but over the moon.”
David Menuisier and David Egan combined to land the preceding Racing TV Rosebery Handicap with 22-1 shot Belloccio.
The four-year-old had not managed to get his head in front since winning a Listed prize in France in the autumn of 2020, but proved the fire still burns with a head verdict over 18-5 favourite Stay Well.
“I’m absolutely delighted because we thought the world of this horse as he was a very high class two-year-old,” said Menuisier.
“Last year we did throw him in the deep end and he did bump into some really good horses, but I think he lost the will to fight.
“It was a matter of giving him a good winter and going to church every Sunday and hope that he would eventually reverse his form!
“When one loses his form like this and you know deep inside it is still there it is so emotional when they do come back. Today is a real victory, not just a win.”
Gay Kelleway has a trip to Royal Ascot in mind for Ocean Cloud (5-2) after she notched her second course and distance win from as many starts in the opening RacingTV/EBF Novice Stakes.
Kelleway said: “The moment she came into the yard she was a natural athlete and a natural fast runner. She has got natural early talent.
“The key to a good horse is one that travels and quickens and that is what she does.
“I’m not keen on going to York for the Marygate as it is too close to Royal Ascot, but we might go to Chester for the Lily Agnes.
“The Queen Mary would be the main aim. She is for sale as well as she runs in my own name.”
Al Husn could also be Ascot-bound after impressing in the Racing TV Fillies’ Conditions Stakes for Roger Varian.
Richard Hills, assistant racing manager to winning owners Shadwell Estate Company, said of the 100-30 winner: “She is not very big and her work is just okay, but she is a typical Dubawi in that she sticks her head out and tries. She will get further.
“She could be a Sandringham filly over that stiff mile and then we could step her up.”
The William Haggas-trained Maljoom (3-1) proved strong for the Queen’s 8-13 favourite Saga in the Join Racing TV Now Conditions Stakes.