BADENSCOTH, who has been in great form on the all-weather broke his duck on the turf yesterday afternoon at Sandown Park in facile fashion to make it win number four for the year.
Lightly raced on the grass, the son of Foxwedge was having only his sixth race away from an artificial surface. In his last four starts, he’s won twice at Wolverhampton and once at Chelmsford but not only was this his first foray on the grass this year, it was his first venture into a Class 3 handicap.
The market was dominated by the red hot 5/4 favourite, Herculean, an imposing and very large son of Frankel, who at the age of four was having just his fourth start. Market confidence was high as although he’d had very few miles on the clock, he did have two wins, a second and a third under his belt and a rating of 91. Even though off the track for 231 days, he was very well supported in the ring. However, the market was clearly not expecting more from the progressive Badenscoth, who went off a rather generous 14/1!
The 13-runner field went a good pace 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 is highly progressive and he also relished soft going. Robert 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.