James Ferguson was delighted with First Folio’s first foray into Listed company when second in the Listed Leisure Stakes at Windsor on Monday evening.
The Dark Angel gelding has proven to be an ultra-consistent performer in the handicap ranks since joining Ferguson and powered on gamely from an outside draw to claim a silver medal behind Run To Freedom.
Both of First Folio’s victories for the Saville House handler have come on good to firm ground, but the trainer was encouraged by the way the four-year-old handled the watered turf at Windsor and also has his sights on one of Royal Ascot’s most competitive handicaps before aiming high once more later in the season.
He said: “I was very happy with him. Obviously it was a big step up in grade and at the end of the day it was good to see he handled a bit of cut in the ground, but I reckon if the ground was good to firm, he would have gone a bit closer. I can’t take anything away from him and Danny (Muscutt) gave him a great ride.
“I’ll have him in the Wokingham at Royal Ascot. Obviously his handicap mark will go up a little after Windsor, but hopefully they can’t put him up too much and I can see him running a big race in a big handicap like that and then hopefully get our hands on a Pattern race later in the year.”