Dakota Gold claimed his second big-race success in the space of five days with a dominant display in the rearranged Rous Stakes at Nottingham.
Winner of the five-furlong Listed contest at Ascot last season, the six-year-old was declared to defend his crown in Berkshire earlier this month, only for the meeting to be called off due to a waterlogged track.
As fate would have it, Ascot’s abandonment worked in Dakota Gold’s favour, as both the Rous Stakes and the Bengough Stakes were saved from the same fixture and the Michael Dods-trained sprinter has ended up winning both.
Having claimed a first win at Group Three level in the rescheduled Bengough at York last Saturday, the gelded son of Equiano was the 7-4 favourite to give weight and a beating to his rivals in Listed company.
Soon bowling in front under his regular partner Connor Beasley, Dakota Gold completely outclassed his rivals, coming home three and a half lengths clear of Aljady.
Dods said: “That soft ground helps him and five furlongs suits him, so he could really force it today. Over six furlongs, like at York the other day, you have to sort of steady him, but over five you just go.
“I thought he was quite impressive really. He’s a very tough horse and Connor gets on well with him.”
The Darlington-based trainer decided against a shot at Group One glory with his charge in the Prix de l’Abbaye earlier this month, but hopes he might be able to make his mark at the highest level in 2021.
He added: “He has his restrictions as my wife Carole has to load him, so it would have been a bit awkward to take him to France with all the travel restrictions and everything. That is what put us off, but he’s certainly not getting slower with age – he’s improving.
“I’m not sure if he’ll run again this year, I’ll have to discuss it with the owners. He’s had a great season, so even if we don’t run him again this year, we can look forward to next year with him.
“The ground is the key to him. He ran on faster ground earlier in the year and he’s just not the same horse, but his natural speed on soft ground just burns horses off, without actually being pushed to do it.”