Doncaster winner Tarboosh looks set to step up in class

Winners: Tarboosh and Kevin Stott win The sun racing.co.uk Handicap Stakes at Doncaster Racecourse.
Winners: Tarboosh and Kevin Stott win The sun racing.co.uk Handicap Stakes at Doncaster Racecourse.
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PAUL Midgley feels Tarboosh could make his presence felt in Pattern company next year after his sprinter defied the steadier of 9st 10lb in the sunracing.co.uk Handicap at Doncaster.

Handicaps could be a thing of the past after the five-year-old gave a career-best performance to defeat 21 rivals to register his fourth win of the season.

Storming to the front under Kevin Stott, the 8-1 joint-favourite got home by a length from Erissimus Maximus, who was receiving 21lb, with Lord Riddiford a nose away in third.

“He’s pretty smart. Things didn’t go for him earlier in the season but since Newmarket he’s been brilliant. He’s just stepped forward every run,” said Midgley, who trains at Westow near York.

“It was a career-best today. It was no easy feat giving weight to everything in a race like this. He’s drifted left because he was lonely in front, probably. He was in front soon enough.

“He’s got a pretty good engine and we look forward to him next year. He’ll have to go up a grade or two. I’m not taking him to Dubai. We’re going to keep him here.

“We may have to go up to Listed or Group Three class, which is good.”

Stott picked up a two-day ban for careless riding.

The Yorkshire win came on a day that saw Classic contender Magna Grecia demonstrate a determined attitude as he gave Aidan O’Brien a ninth win in the Vertem Futurity Trophy Stakes, the Flat’s final domestic Group One of 2018.

Narrowly defeated in the Autumn Stakes by Andre Fabre’s Persian King last time out, he stayed on best of all to narrowly deny Charlie Hills’s Phoenix Of Spain.

Stablemates Western Australia and Circus Maximus ensured the race was run at a solid gallop, but it was the mount of the trainer’s son Donnacha who just prevailed by a head.

O’Brien junior said: “I’m delighted with him, he’s still a bit babyish but he’s coming forward lovely. We think a mile will be his thing next year.”

The result provided his young rider with yet another Group One in what has been a stellar season. Set to be crowned Irish champion jockey, he has also won the Oaks, 2000 Guineas and Irish Derby among a host of big-race successes this term.

A stewards’ inquiry was called as there appeared to be contact between the first two, initially when Magna Grecia moved out from behind his stable companions to make his challenge and then just before the line, but there was no change to the result.

This form does, however, appear to strengthen the credentials of the John Gosden-trained Too Darn Hot, who is owned by composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and his wife Madeleine. This precocious two-year-old, favourite for next year’s big races, pulled well clear of Phoenix of Spain in Doncaster’s Champagne Stakes on St Leger day.

Former champion trainer Paul Nicholls could run Clan Des Obeaux, co-owned by Sir Alex Ferguson, in Saturday’s Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby.

Entries for the most prestigious and valuable race of the year at the West Yorkshire track are due to close at lunchtime.

However, Nicholls hopes there is rain and the ground softens this week – a view shared by connections of 2017 winner Bristol De Mai, and Colin Tizzard’s former King George winner Thistlecrack.

These star horses are also due to be given preliminary entries, subject to ground conditions later in the week.