English visitor Young Rascal has again underlined the strength of the European staying form, outgunning odds-on favourite Mugatoo to win his Australian debut at Rosehill.
The horse is being targeted at the Sydney Cup (3200m) and bookmakers reacted to his win in Saturday’s Manion Cup (2400m), halving his price to $4 equal favouritism.
Sent out a $1.85 fancy, Mugatoo appeared to hit the front in the straight but Young Rascal ($7.50) rallied under hard riding from Tom Marquand to surge again and score by a long neck.
Supernova ($6.50) did best of the rest another 1-1/4 lengths away.
Harry Eustace, assistant to English trainer William Haggas, praised Young Rascal for sticking to his task after being hard ridden by Marquand from the 600-metres.
“He’s was very brave there because coming off the bend he looked beat,” Eustace said.
“He has always been tough at home too and he dug deep.
“It is good to bring horses down here but it’s even better when they win.”
Young Rascal’s victory capped a memorable 24 hours for the Eustace family with brother David Eustace, training partner to Ciaron Maher, celebrating a Group One William Reid Stakes victory with Loving Gaby at The Valley on Friday night.
Marquand’s English roots came in handy aboard Young Rascal, who he knew would be strong over the final stages.
“He’s a typical English-style horse. He was never hitting top gear until the last 100 metres really,” Marquand said.
“It was a great performance considering we went pretty slow.”
Trainer Kris Lees was not disappointed in Mugatoo saying the horse was still learning and was beaten by a hardened stayer.
Jockey Kerrin McEvoy reported the favourite wanted to travel strongly midrace and Lees said that trait would improve with experience.
“The horse that beat him is a strong European stayer,” Lees said.
“Kerrin said he’s just racing a little aggressive, that’s all. He is still a pretty inexperienced horse so that will come in time.”
Lees said he had not made a decision on whether Mugatoo would press onto the Sydney Cup for which he is equal favourite