Stormy Antarctic secured his first British win in over five years as he powered home in the Listed MansionBet Beaten By A Head Festival Stakes at Goodwood.
Ed Walker’s charge won the Craven Stakes back in April 2016, but has largely been focussed on major overseas targets in the interim, chalking up four wins in Group Two and Three company, as well as placing at the highest level on multiple occasions.
Now an eight-year-old, Stormy Antarctic had finished second in a couple of Listed heats so far this year, but relishing the testing conditions at Goodwood, he roared back to form under Richard Kingscote.
Stormy Antarctic was travelling noticeably well turning into the straight as pacesetter Winter Reprise just started to feel the pinch and Walker’s runner seized control with a furlong to run in the 10-furlong heat.
Kingscote urged him clear and he passed the post three and a quarter lengths ahead of the staying-on Desert Encounter, with Winter Reprise third.
“I must admit this feels like my first winner as he’s such a hero and flown the flag for the yard for so long,” said Walker
“He hadn’t won (in Britain) since George Baker rode him in the Craven and is such a loyal servant.
“My hopes rose when the rain came, as he’d run so well under a canny ride at Windsor. And the race cut up well for us, while Richard got him beautifully settled.
“We did pencil in a Group Two in Milan at the end of June, but the ground will probably prevent that and we may well look after him by keeping the miles down and freshening him up.”
Simon and Ed Crisford’s Flotus (7-4 favourite) justified strong market support when making a striking impression on debut in the MansionBet Bet 10 Get 20 EBF Maiden Fillies’ Stakes.
Silvestre de Sousa was on board and said: “She was slow from the gates and took time to settle, but when I pulled her out, I just needed to let her go.
“She didn’t like being covered up and she preferred a clear run. It might have been because there was not enough pace.
“She feels like that (Royal Ascot). I just gave her a little push and she quickened very well, as if she was on good ground, she feels really nice.”
The former champion jockey quickly doubled up on David Menuisier’s November Handicap third Nuit St Georges (4-1) in the MansionBet Watch And Bet Handicap, before further adding to his tally with Rhoscolyn (12-1) in the Download The MansionBet App Handicap.
Hukum returned to winning ways for Owen Burrows in the MansionBet Best Odds Guaranteed Tapster Stakes.
While the 5-6 favourite hit the front on the bridle, the testing ground began to take its toll as he drifted to the rail, briefly causing De Sousa to stop riding on Morando.
That allowed On To Victory to run on into second, beaten a length and a half.
“We thought a lot of him and he did us proud last year, and he did well physically through the winter,” said Burrows.
“He ran a respectable race on his comeback in the Gordon Richards, a race that turned into a sprint which didn’t suit us.
“It was the exact opposite in the ground today. He travelled into it well, but made a little bit of hard work putting it to bed.
“He’s in the Coronation Cup, but that will come too soon and the plan is to go for the Hardwicke.”