Perfect start for beautifully-bred Prince Eiji at Ascot

Fri 7 Sep 2018

Watch the closing stages of Prince Eiji's win at Ascot on Friday, Andrea Atzeni's interview with Lydia Hislop and read our report from Berkshire.

Roger Varian can begin to become more ambitious when making future plans for Prince Eiji after he paid back a slice of the 2.6million guineas laid out for him with victory on his debut at Ascot.

By Dubawi out of Group One-winning mare Izzi Top, the youngster could hardly be better bred and earned 2000 Guineas quotes in taking the Charbonnel Et Walker British EBF Maiden Stakes by half a length.

Varian said of his 4-1 winner before jetting off to the sales at Keeneland: “It was a very pleasing performance. He was very professional and travelled strongly. He was a bit green under pressure, but he did enough.

“I think he will improve a good deal for that run and there was a lot to like about it. He has been working nicely, but he has done a lot growing through the summer.

“He has got a big pedigree and price tag, so it was nice to make a winning start. Everything he does this year is a bonus.”

He added: “Let’s see how he comes out of this, but he has got entries in the big races. I’m sure he will have one or two more runs this year.

“We can all dream a little now, but he has only just won a little maiden.”

James Doyle took the riding plaudits on the day, landing a 139-1 treble highlighted by the length-and-a-half victory secured by Silver Quartz (4-1) in the feature Weatherbys Handicap.

Winning trainer Hugo Palmer said: “What happened at York last time, I have no idea. York is a funny place and seems to be a specialist track.

“He is not in the Cambridgeshire and it is very hard for a three-year-old to win that.

“We’ve always thought he was a stakes horse in the making and it would not be a surprise if he makes his next start at Listed level.”

The Andrew Balding-trained Isomer (6-1) formed the middle leg of Doyle’s haul in the Chapel Down Classified Stakes, while

Alexana put an odds-on defeat behind her in the Garden For All Seasons Novice Stakes.

The latter event was reduced to a match following the withdrawal of Harbour Quay, and Doyle’s mount floored 1-4 favourite Sextant by half a length.

Maureen Haggas, assistant to her husband, William, said of the 3-1 scorer: “The ground was too soft for her at Thirsk. I thought she did well, as the second horse is obviously useful.

“It’s hard in these two-horse races, she was green in front looking at everything. She battled well having been headed and it was great to get her back on track.”

There appears to be no stopping What A Welcome (15-8) this season and the gelded son of Nathaniel made it win number five for the campaign when finishing to good effect in the Victoria Racing Club Handicap.

“I thought he was going to be fourth there at best. He just found another gear, which is just wonderful,” said delighted trainer Patrick Chamings.

“It is a long time since we’ve had a good horse. It is lovely to have a horse to do us proud again.

“It is all thanks to Eric Wheeler, though, as he sent him my way when he stopped training.

“He definitely wants further and that’s the bare minimum.”

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