Euchen Glen bounced right back to his very best to take the Coral Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown.
After returning from nearly two years on the sidelines to win three times in 2020, the Jim Goldie-trained eight-year-old had been below par in two runs so far this season – but put those efforts well behind him to record a career-best Group Two triumph, one achieved with a 3lb penalty.
Ridden at the back of the four-runner field as Sangarius bowled along in front closely attended by Extra Elusive, it looked like Jim Goldie’s mount had plenty on his plate with Ryan Moore on the even-money favourite seemingly going great guns aboard the even-money favourite.
But Sangarius could not put his rivals away, and as he started to tread water Euchen Glen (20-1) really picked up for Paul Mulrennan and swept to the front, streaking clear to win by four and a quarter lengths, in a race run this year in memory of Brigadier Gerard’s rider Joe Mercer.
Mulrennan said: “Coming back in trip suited him, he’s been slightly over-racing so we thought if we came back in trip and rode him quiet like when I won on him at Haydock (it might work).
“Jim’s horses have just been coming into form the last couple of weeks and turned a corner, the ground was perfect, it’s a stiff track and there was always going to be a stiff pace to aim at.
“I almost got there too soon and had to take a pull, but that’s the first time this year he’s been relaxed in my hands and he was able to finish off. They stopped in front and he had nothing else to race with.
“It’s credit to Jim Goldie, he had that serious injury after winning the John Smith’s Cup (in 2018), and that was over a mile and a quarter. To get him back to this sort of level is a credit to Jim.”
He added: “I’d say that was his career-best, giving 3lb away. He wasn’t doing a great deal in front and he tends to get better as the year goes on.
“It took him a few runs to get his confidence back after his injury, but then he had a really good run at the end of last season winning some good races.
“I know the Melbourne Cup was a bit of a target, but that has probably gone now. The Ebor is probably the race for him, with good prize-money.
“It was worth the trip down at least, I actually led my first ever horse up here about 20-odd years ago when I started at Brian Meehan’s.”