My Oberon is impressive in Earl Of Sefton

My Oberon made an impressive winning start to his campaign in the bet365 Earl Of Sefton Stakes at Newmarket.

The William Haggas-trained colt shaped with considerable promise as a three-year-old last season, with victory at York followed by successive runner-up finishes at this Group Three level in the Thoroughbred Stakes at Goodwood and the Superior Mile at Haydock.

Making his first appearance since finishing fifth in Listed company at Redcar in October, My Oberon was a 7-1 shot against just three rivals on the Rowley Mile – and looks set for a profitable campaign, judged on a clear-cut success.

Always travelling strongly in the hands of James Doyle, the Dubawi colt quickened up smartly to reel in the pace-setting Marie’s Diamond before pulling two and a half lengths clear.

Global Giant, the 10-11 favourite to provide Frankie Dettori with a comeback winner on his first ride in Britain this year, finished last of the quartet.

Haggas said of the winner: “We always hoped he’d be a nice horse. He’s out of a nice Group-winning mare – and being by Dubawi, they get better with age.

“That was a good start. He ran well against Top Rank last season – and he’d won well with a penalty at Doncaster.

Bookmakers Paddy Power responded by shortening My Oberon to 6-1 from 20-1 for the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes – and Haggas confirmed next month’s Group One is the target.

“I think we’ll go to the Lockinge now – that looks very likely,” he said.

“There doesn’t appear to be a stand-out miler this season.

“I’m quite keen at some stage this season to get him up to 10 furlongs, but I want to run him in a Group One now and try and make him a stallion – so the Lockinge is the obvious one.

“I think he handles soft ground, and obviously Dubawis go on it.

“I haven’t watched a replay yet, so I don’t know if it was the front two getting at it too far out and us picking up the pieces or whether we quickened all the way home. Either way, it was a nice start.”