Hollie Doyle barely broke sweat as Archie Watson’s Eddie’s Boy bolted up in Newbury’s Weatherbys Super Sprint Stakes on Saturday afternoon.
A winner on the all-weather at Southwell on debut, the son of Havana Grey has had to settle for a supporting role in his next three starts. He was second to the handy Remarkable Force at Musselburgh before finishing third behind Little Big Bear in a red-hot renewal of the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot.
The Middleham Park Racing-owned youngster was on the podium once again in the Dragon Stakes at Sandown, but there was no doubt about who was going to take centre stage on a sunny afternoon in Berkshire.
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Drawn in stall 21 of 21, the colt never left the stands rail as the 15/2 chance blazed a trail up the nearside to record a convincing victory from 80/1 runner-up Woolhampton and Rogue Spirit in third.
Watson: “That was great. He ran a very good race at Ascot and showed loads of speed there. He led the Wesley Ward horse there and kicked a furlong and a half down and it was only two very good horses who came and got him.
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“They came a bit wide of him on both sides and Hollie felt he was still a bit green that day. We ran him in the Dragon and he was always a little bit intimidated by the winner on the rail, so I was always thinking a quick five here, with plenty of room, would suit him ideally.
“He just went straight line and the one thing I didn’t want to do was be trapped on the rail, but as soon as nothing was able to come forward with us, then it was a straightforward job for Hollie.
Eddie's Boy (left) gets away from Rogue Spirit (red) in third at Newbury
“She kicked him in the belly a long way down and he responded. He was very tough and we are delighted for the owners. It is the first year we have had horses for Middleham Park and all three have won and this one has won the Super Sprint, so it is going all right.
“He is a little bit lazy at home, so for a while we thought he might be a six-furlong horse. He was probably just taking the mickey a bit and was working with Bradsell, who is a very good horse. He turns it on on the racecourse.”
Watson will now take a step up in class with his charge.
He added: “He is very quick, so you have to consider a race like the Molecomb. It is just under a couple of weeks away, so we will just see how he is, but the Molecomb, Flying Childers, those sort of affairs. He is in the Nunthorpe and Tom Palin said he would be scratched if he didn’t run well today – but he has won well, so we might just leave him in.”
Doyle smiles after victory on Eddie's Boy at Newbury
Doyle felt Eddie’s Boy had shown plenty of determination.
She said: “I just wanted to get him out and get him in his own space. If he gets crowded or anything like that he tends to hang a little bit, so he quite enjoyed having a little bit of room today. He tried really hard and put his head down when it mattered.
“I came off it quite a long way out and you are always quite vulnerable, but he responded well for pressure. He hit a flat spot between the three and two (furlong markers) and it is always worrying when you hit a flat spot, but a furlong out he went again. Nothing was in front of me at any stage.”
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Rod Millman was delighted with the performance of the runner-up.
He said: “We felt this was a stronger renewal than it was when Betty’s Hope won in 2019 and while my two had chances of getting in the prize money, we thought that was the best we could hope for. But I am delighted with Woolhampton. She is a very good filly and she stayed on nicely.”