Earl Of Tyrone produced a striking performance under a 3lb penalty to take the Unibet 3 Uniboosts A Day Conditions Stakes at Kempton Park this evening.
The two-mile contest was a Fast-Track Qualifier and the five-year-old is now guaranteed a start in the £150,000 All-Weather Marathon Championships on Good Friday.
On his first appearance since joining William Haggas from Paddy Twomey, Earl Of Tyrone settled third on the rail under James Doyle as last year’s Marathon champion Earlofthecotswolds led the eight runners.
Earlofthecotswolds upped the ante at the top of the home straight, with Earl Of Tyrone, Aced It and Berkshire Rocco all moving eye-catchingly into contention. Doyle waited for the cutaway before asking his mount, at which point the 3/1 joint-favourite produced a smart turn of foot to take up the running approaching the final furlong.
Berkshire Rocco briefly threatened but the leader readily put daylight between himself and the field to come home an impressive two-and-a-quarter-length winner. Solent Gateway was a length and a quarter further back in third.
Assistant trainer Maureen Haggas said: “Earl Of Tyrone was bought at the horses-in-training sale and we have not had him that long.
“William has talked to Paddy [Twomey] a bit and Paddy felt he would stay. His final run last year was over two miles, but it was the end of the year and the ground was heavy.
“It looked as though he really enjoyed the trip tonight. He looked to me as if he was gagging for a bit a daylight so he could go. He was not over-keen, but he just looked like he was really enjoying himself.
“He is off to Australia and goes into quarantine tomorrow, and I think William wanted to find whether we go for the mile-and-a-half race [Tancred Stakes] or the two-mile race [Sydney Cup]. Looking at that, he will probably go straight for the Sydney Cup and you’d hope he would have a nice chance.
“From what we have seen of him, he is an easy-going, straightforward sort of horse with a nice personality. We have two weeks of quarantine now where they have to be boxed into Newmarket every day for exercise and that is hard on them mentally. Then there is a very long journey. They have to be quite resilient whilst also having that relaxed mental outlook to be able to cope.”