Penitent (right) is two from two for new trainer David O'MearaPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Group glory for O'Meara and Penitent in Mile
Report: Sandown, Friday
bet365 Mile (Group 2) 1m14y, 4yo+
PENITENT made it two from two for new trainer David O'Meara and landed a first Group victory under a confident ride by Danny Tudhope, travelling best before grinding out the win from Earl of Sefton winner Questioning.
The first two home contested the finish of a Listed race at Doncaster on the opening day of the season, with Penitent coming out on top and Questioning promoted to second.
Despite Questioning's subsequent Group 3 win, Penitent confirmed the form and was value for more than the one-and-three-quarter-length margin of victory.
The field split into two groups in the back straight before coming together at the bend. Cochabamba led the field into the straight and ploughed a lone furrow up the far rail while William Buick led the remainer of thefield up the centre of the course.
Buick had Famous Name and Dubawi Gold, first and second in the betting, beaten a long way out, but it was apparent just how well Tudhope was travelling aboard the winner.
He cruised into contention before overpowering Questioning inside the final furlong for a first Group 2 win as the pair pulled eight lengths clear of Famous Name in third. Penitent was previously trained by William Haggas and has flourished since moving to the O'Meara yard.
Middleham Park Racing manager Keith Bradley said: "David O'Meara has done a tremendous job with a horse who had feet and joint problems and I don't think he is a soft-ground horse any more. I'd love to take on Frankel but there are options for him at Royal Ascot."
Danny Tudhope was making it two wins from two rides at the track, both Group 2s as he won the Henry II Stakes on Blue Bajan last year.
"I might have comehere for a couple of rides as an apprentice but the last two visits have been fantastic thanks to David (O'Meara)," he said.
O'Meara said: "He showed a great attitude and travelled really well. The form from Doncaster is turning out to be a really good race. I'm delighted to have him and all credit to Middleham Park Racing for getting him and sending him to me.
"The Group 2 was a step up, we expected him to run well but now he's won we will haveto consider different options and I will talk to the guys at Middleham Park."
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