Via Serendipity may have booked himself a last-minute ticket to Royal Ascot in bouncing back to winning ways at Sandown on Saturday.
A winner at Windsor and Goodwood last season, the Charlie Fellowes-trained eight-year-old had failed to get seriously competitive on his first two starts this spring, but showed his true colours in Esher.
Under a well-timed ride from top apprentice Harry Davies, the 11-2 winner took over the running deep inside the final furlong and displayed a willing attitude to fend off Coase by a neck.
Fellowes said: “He has taken ages to come to hand this season. As he is an eight-year-old, I gave him a nice long holiday but he took forever to come back and was one of the last horses to lose his winter coat.
“He ran really poorly at Newmarket and Windsor, but the last month he has turned inside out and he was gleaming in his coat today.
“I was pretty confident he would run a nice race. The ground had come right and Harry gave him a peach of a ride.
“He is in the Buckingham Palace, but seven furlongs is too sharp so it will be the Royal Hunt Cup or nothing.
“If he sneaks into the Royal Hunt Cup we will definitely think about it.”
Ralph Beckett and Silvestre de Sousa combined to land the opening Coral ‘Beaten-By-A-Length’ Free Bet Handicap with 9-4 favourite Vee Sight.
Making his handicap debut following three decent efforts in maiden and novice company last term, the Churchill gelding proved well treated as he comfortably extended two and a quarter lengths clear.
Winning owner Julian Richmond-Watson said: “He was good. We’ve had to wait a long time to get him ready this year. We had planned to start him a bit early but that was exciting.
“Ralph’s horses had been a bit in and out and he wasn’t quite ready to go but he was ready to go today so that was exciting and on we go from there. I’ve got no plans.
“I should think he will get a mile and a quarter no trouble as the family have managed that well.”