Michelangelo (yellow cap) stays on well to deny Expense Claim on FridayPICTURE: Getty Images
Michelangelo powers to Goodwood Listed success
Report: Goodwood, Friday
Casco Cocked Hat Stakes (Listed) 1m3f, 3yo, colts and geldings
THE John Gosden-trained Michelangelo stayed on powerfully to deny the front-running Expense Claim in the Cocked Hat Stakes on Friday.
The winner, having his second career start, had plenty to do two furlongs out as Expense Claim kicked for home but he stayed on relentlessly to get up close home under William Buick.
Gosden and Buick teamed up to win this race last year with Masked Marvel, who went on to land the Ladbrokes St Leger at Doncaster. But consecutive victories in the Cocked Hat looked slim as the field approached the straight and Expense Claim, still travelling well, stretched clear under Jimmy Fortune.
He soon had Michelangelo and the Charlie Hills-trained Perennial in trouble but the leader began to tire as he passed the furlong marker.
William Buick: praised his mountPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Michelangelo began to eat into Expense Claim's diminishing lead and he swept past close to the line to score by half a length as the 4-6 favourite. Perennial finished a close third.
Buick praised the winner and said: "It's a difficult track for even the most experienced horses and he showed his inexperience today.
"He showed all his battling qualities, Jimmy [Fortune] had me beat, so to get up and win having given him a start was a really good performance."
And bloodstock agent Charlie Gordon-Watson, who bought Michelangelo as a yearling, said Royal Ascot could be on the agenda for Bjorn Nielsen's three-year-old.
He said: "The Derby will just cme too soon for him after a lack of opportunities to run him in the spring, but the owner is keen to go for the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot."