Bellum Justum put his experience to good use as he opened his account in the British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Stakes at Newmarket.
Trained by Andrew Balding, the Sea The Stars colt – who cost 375,000 guineas as a yearling – was up against some highly-regarded rivals on his fourth start, but from two furlongs out it appeared likely either the mount of Oisin Murphy or Kevin Ryan’s 50-1 debutant Inisherin would walk away with the first prize.
The duo pulled clear of their rivals as the runners entered the dip and although the regally-bred Inisherin threatened to carry the colours of Sheikh Mohammed Obaid to victory in this race for the third time in four years, it was the Balding runner who pulled out extra in the closing stages to score by half a length.
“We were delighted and he’s a horse we have always liked,” said the Kingsclere handler.
“He probably wasn’t suited by the soft ground at Doncaster last time, but he came out of the race really well and seemed to enjoy conditions today. I thought it was a nice performance in what was probably a strong race.”
The 11-2 winner holds an entry in the Futurity Trophy Stakes at Doncaster later this month, but end-of-season ground conditions could rule out a step up to Group One company on Town Moor with connections looking forward to next season.
“I think it is unlikely given ground conditions at that time of the year,” continued Balding.
“A sound surface is important, we learnt that at Doncaster last time. I will discuss it with the King Power team, but I think it will be unlikely.
“He’s a horse who should stay further and is a lovely horse.”