BADENSCOTH broke his duck on the turf yesterday afternoon at Sandown Park in emphatic fashion to make it win number four for the year.
The son of Foxwedge is relatively lightly raced on the grass and was having only his sixth race away from an artificial surface. A winner of three of his previous four starts with two victories at Wolverhampton and one success at Chelmsford, this was his first venture into a Class 3 handicap.
The market was dominated by the red hot favourite, Herculean, an imposing and very large son of Frankel, who at the age of four was having just his fourth start. However, with two wins, a second and a third under his belt and a rating of 91, the market suggested there was more to come, despite his having been off the track for 231 days. However, the market was clearly not expecting more from the progressive Badenscoth, who went off a very generous 14/1!
The 13-runner field went a good clip early on, despite the soft going and Robert Winston held the stable runner up in midfield. Always travelling well, he made smooth progress two out and went to the front a furlong from home, going clear impressively to win easily by two and a half lengths from Mandarin.
Clearly, the five-year-old gelding relished soft going just as Dor’s Law enjoyed the heavy going when winning at Nottingham on Thursday. Robert Winston was impressed by the performance and thought he’d be a suitable candidate for the John Smith’s Cup or Cambridgeshire, two valuable handicaps later in the year.
Badenscoth is a credit to his owner/breeder, Peter J Skinner, for whom this was the horse’s sixth career win in 23 starts, at a very healthy 26% strike rate.
For Harper Lodge Farm, the victory was the 20th this year, just over half of last year’s joint-record 39 wins.