John and Thady Gosden’s impressive start to their new arrangement was given another boost by the victory of Megallan in the Listed Burradon Stakes at Newcastle.
Highly tried after winning on his debut last season, Megallan ended his campaign in the Futurity Trophy at Doncaster.
He got bogged down in the heavy ground on that occasion, but was better judged on his fourth to One Ruler in the Autumn Stakes – and the Gosdens are clearly keen to crack on with him this year.
Out early for the Spring Cup over an inadequate seven furlongs at Lingfield where he was a fast-finishing second, he was back over a straight mile on the Tapeta this time.
His presence scared plenty of the potential opposition away – with only three taking him on, but they included Roger Varian’s lightly-raced Legion Of Honour.
The pair had it between themselves for the last two furlongs – and while Andrea Atzeni briefly looked to be going better on Legion Of Honour, Megallan’s depth of experience told close home.
Robert Havlin always looked as if he held the upper hand, and in the final 100 yards Megallan (4-6 favourite) began to pull away to win by half-a-length.
Havlin said: “He ran over seven (furlongs) at Lingfield – which we knew was going to be a bit sharp for him, but it sharpened him up mentally.
“That showed today, and I think you have to give him a lot of credit.
“Last year he was a bit too keen in heavy ground at Doncaster in the Futurity Trophy, but I think he’s grown up a lot. I ride him a bit myself at home, and he’s come on a lot.
“I think he’s better than this (class). It was a good old ding-dong battle with the second, but he was going away at the line.
“I wouldn’t rule him out going over a mile-and-a-quarter later in the season, because his mind is much better now – he used to be really racy.
“He might end up in something like the Feilden Stakes at Newmarket over a mile-and-one (furlong) – that could be an option.”
Paddy Power cut the winner to 20-1 from 33-1 for the 2000 Guineas, while the runner-up is now 25-1 from 50-1.