Going The Distance could have a bright future having flourished in the mud to claim the British EBF Future Stayers Oath Novice Stakes on a wet afternoon at Nottingham.
Trained by Ralph Beckett, the son of Lope De Vega started his career by finishing third to David Menuisier’s Futurity Trophy-bound Devil’s Point at Ffos Las and then returned to the Welsh venue to open his account with a victory which was much more cosy than the winning distance of a neck would suggest.
Sent off the 11-8 favourite to add to his tally at Colwick Park, the Marc Chan-owned youngster took advantage of the late absence of the well-regarded Midair to hold off Hughie Morrison’s newcomer Surrey Fire at the finish.
“He knew his job today and I thought after Ffos Las (his first start) he would know his job,” said winning jockey Rossa Ryan.
“He was good (last time) when Laura (Pearson) rode him and he impressed me today, he’s just a good, honest horse. When I gave him the option to go, he stuck his head down and galloped and he doesn’t overdo things, he just jumps and travels at whatever momentum you want him at.
“He’s perfect really to ride and he’s done it well and I would say he looks like he has a bit to grow.
“I don’t think heavy ground is essential for him but he’s able to quicken on it. I imagine a trip next year won’t be a problem to him.”
The victory was part two of a double for the jockey who had earlier claimed the opening Trustatrader Apply Today EBF Novice Stakes aboard World Of Darcy for John Ryan.
Second in the National Stakes earlier in the season, the Soldier’s Call colt was in action over seven furlongs in the Tattersalls Stakes only two weeks ago, but thrived for the drop in class to register a confidence boosting success at 7-2.
The winning trainer said: “He’s only a small horse but his heart is in the right place and he can knuckle down in all sorts of ground. I don’t think he liked it really but was good enough to get through it.
“When we ran him over seven, Luke (Morris, jockey) said drop him back to six and get him some confidence because he had had a few hard days at work. Luke was right and Rossa gave him the perfect ride there.”
World Of Darcy holds an entry in York’s Rockingham Stakes on Saturday afternoon and that Listed event is one option connections will consider.
John Ryan added: “We’ve got a big entry at the weekend but we’ll look at that and see what the ground does. I think he won easily enough but the ground does drag it out of him and Rossa said he did empty out quick on that ground. But we’ll see how he recovers and make a decision tomorrow.”
Harry Eustace’s Divine Comedy (4-1) continued her rise through the ranks by picking up her third win of the season in the Trustatrader Fully Vetted Tradespeople Fillies’ Handicap, while there was a first success for the William Muir and Chris Grassick-trained Go Daddy (7-2), who showed plenty of heart to pick up the British Stallion Studs EBF Nursery Handicap.
“That was brilliant and we thought we had deserved a win earlier in the season,” said Grassick.
“William had selected him from the breeze-ups and did a fantastic job of going and securing the horse. He is busy buying new ones at the sales and will be delighted.
“Its a lovely story for the owners. They have been with William a very long time and this means a lot to them. They’ve had a lot of nice horses and lost a horse earlier this year. So to have a horse go and do this for them has really helped keep the dream alive for everybody and it will mean a lot to William. I’m sure he will have a tear in his eye at the sales.”
The ground deteriorating to heavy helped William Stone’s Dashing Roger (7-2 favourite) make all for a five-and-a-half-length triumph in the Trustatrader For Tradespeople You Can Trust Handicap.
“He’s just been waiting for this ground,” said Stone.
“He loves soft or heavy ground and it’s hard to find. If we can find the ground, he will keep running.”
David O’Meara’s Stressfree (100-30 favourite) built on a second at Ayr recently to open his UK account in the Trustatrader Approved And Reviewed Trades People Handicap, while the concluding Trustatrader You Can Trust Our Traders Apprentice Handicap went the way of the Olly Williams-trained Foursome (5-1).