Scholarship enters Coventry picture with debut victory

Clive Cox looks to have another smart two-year-old on his hands in the form of Scholarship, who made no mistake when scoring at the first attempt in the Betfred Passionate About Sport EBF Maiden Stakes at Haydock.

The production line at Cox’s Beechdown Stables is creating some above-average youngsters this term and the strapping son of Profitable can be added to the list of top prospects as he handed Cox his fifth two-year-old winner of the season.

Sent off at 10-1 for the six-furlong contest, the 60,000 guineas buy hit the front with just under a furlong to go and kept on strongly to run out a comfortable winner.

“He’s a very big two-year-old, but he’s done everything professionally at home,” said a delighted Cox.

“He’s plenty of size and scope, he’s almost 16’1 and for a two-year-old that’s pretty big. I’m just very pleased that he has behaved very professionally. I’m sure he will take a big step forward from his first day away and the racecourse experience so we’re excited.”

Betfair introduced Scholarship into the Coventry Stakes market for Royal Ascot at 25-1 and Cox, who won the opening day Group Two with 150-1 shot Nando Parrado in 2020, sees that race as a possible next assignment for his charge.

When speaking about a possible tilt at the Coventry, Cox added: “It is interesting, but we will see how he comes home and how he looks in a week first before we make a call about that (Coventry Stakes), but I would like to think with the right sort of behaviour he could be an exciting prospect moving forwards.

“I don’t see why we would be changing that (six furlongs), but he is out of a New Approach mare, so that would give us the scope to go a bit further as well, but I’m just delighted he’s done everything professionally today.”

Elsewhere on the card the regally-bred Darmoiselle got off the mark at the second time of asking for John and Thady Gosden in the Betfred Nifty Fifty Maiden Fillies’ Stakes.

Never a factor when 10th behind Oaks favourite Emily Upjohn at Sandown on debut, the Dubawi filly, who is out of the top-class mare Dar Re Mi, struck at 6-1 to deny stablemate Mimikyu by a neck.

Haydock Park Races – Thursday May 26th
Darmoiselle and Kieran Shoemark (right) coming home to win the Betfred Nifty Fifty Maiden Fillies’ Stakes at Haydock Park (Martin Rickett/PA)

Roger Varian’s Zanbaq (30-100 favourite) also got back to winning ways in the Betfred Supports Jack Berry House Fillies’ Novice Stakes. The Oasis Dream filly scored at Kempton on debut last November, but had to settle for third on her reappearance in Listed company at Goodwood last month.

Dropping back in class and trip for this seven-furlong event, she scored a shade snugly, running on strongly once shown some daylight by jockey Dane O’Neill.

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