Henry II Stakes victory for Brown Panther
Last Updated: 29/05/14 9:14pm
Brown Panther goes clear to score at Sandown.
Brown Panther took the Cantor Fitzgerald Henry II Stakes in clear-cut fashion from High Jinx and Whiplash Willie.
In victory, he stated a clear case for Royal Ascot's Gold Cup next month and trainer Tom Dascombe confirmed that was the plan.
Bred and part-owned by football star Michael Owen, the Tom Dascombe-trained six-year-old appears better than ever this season.
Richard Kingscote sat on the heels of the front-running German raider Girolamo, with the field coming over to the stands side in the straight, with the exception of Andrea Atzeni and Seismos.
Kingscote stoked the 2/1 favourite up a quarter of a mile from home and after quickly getting the better of Girolamo in hitting the front a furlong out, his mount went nicely clear of High Jinx, who stayed on to be second-best but was never a serious threat three and a half lengths back. Whiplash Willie came out of the pack to snatch third.
Looking forward to Ascot, Dascombe said: "All he can do is turn up and do his best. He goes on any ground, trip doesn't seem to be an issue and we are delighted with him.
"Our horses rarely win first time out and he only had to beat a non-stayer (at Chester) so today was a test and realistically he had to come out on top if he was going to go for the Gold Cup.
"He's a half-brother to some three-mile hurdlers so the trip shouldn't be an issue. He just seems to have come to himself. He's easier to train and he's probably just a typical late-maturing son of Shirocco."
Bookmakers Sky Bet cut the winner from 8/1 to 6/1 for the Gold Cup on the back of the performance.