Andrew Balding enjoyed a big-race double at Lingfield on Good Friday and was also on the mark at Newcastle with the promising Napper Tandy.
While Bangkok winning the Easter Classic and Ranch Hand being crowned the leading all-weather stayer will have been more beneficial financially for the Kingsclere handler, as a lightly-raced three-year-old Napper Tandy represents the future.
A winner over a mile at Kempton in November having gone down by just a short-head on his debut, he was a beaten even-money favourite last time out when stepped up to a mile and a half.
The slow pace did not suit that day though, and while David Probert initially looked worried at the top of the straight this time, he came back on the bridle in the Ladbrokes-sponsored handicap.
Hot favourite Defined never looked likely to win having raced keenly and the 5-1 chance was ridden out to score by a length and three-quarters, looking as his stamina is his forte.
Speaking from Lingfield, Balding said: “He was quite impressive today and possibly he could be a Queen’s Vase horse for Royal Ascot.”
Probert said: “He actually won over a mile at Kempton in a race that worked out well when I was given an easy time in front, but possibly last time at Wolverhampton he found the track too sharp.
“It suited him well today. I was a little bit worried on the turn about getting him crowded, but as soon as I had him out and in his top gear, he really hit the line quite nicely.”
Kevin Ryan registered what is likely to be the first of many juvenile winners of the season when Anadora came from last to first to win the Ladbrokes Home Of The Odds Boost Fillies’ Conditions Stakes.
Slowly away, the daughter of Havana Gold was sent off a 13-2 chance as the market spoke in favour of George Boughey’s Cashew, but he was beaten by halfway.
Having missed the break, Kevin Stott guided his mount to the rail and she finished with a real rattle to catch Alaskan Jewel and win by a head.
“She missed the break, but other than that did everything right. She was a bit green early doors, but I got a nice, clean run and I had the rail to help me,” said Stott.
“I couldn’t fault her and this is a nice place for them to start off.”
Ryan was also on the mark with Treble Treble (7-1) in the Betway Handicap, ridden by Tom Eaves.
Charlie Johnston was full of praise for apprentice jockey Jonny Peate, who got his fractions spot on aboard Gobi Sunset (4-1) in the Bombardier Handicap.
Caught on the line at Wolverhampton last time out, this time Peate kicked his mount into a huge advantage at halfway and was still four and a half lengths in front at the post.
“It was basically all over at halfway, the favourite (Broctune Red) gave us a 15-length head start,” said Johnston, assistant trainer to his father, Mark.
“I know it can be a difficult place to make all, but not when they’ve got that much of a lead.
“That’s Jonny’s third winner from just nine rides. He came to us briefly last summer, went to do his course at the British Racing School and has been back about eight months. He’s got a fantastic attitude to work and life – as all of our apprentices do, two more (Andrew Breslin and Oli Stammers) were in that race!”
The day will be forever remembered by fellow apprentice Aidan Redpath, who rode his first winner on Michael Dods’ Havagomecca (14-1) in the five-furlong novice.