Roger Varian saw his master plan for Mountain Angel come together in the Investec City And Suburban Handicap at Epsom on Wednesday.
After winning the mile-and-quarter prize 12 months ago with Ajman King, the Newmarket handler repeated the trick with the gelded son of Dark Angel, who came with a run late on to defeat Aquarium by a length and a half.
Varian said of the 7-2 winner: “It is a nice race to win and we targeted it from quite a way out, as we did with the winner last year. Michael Jarvis used to like winning this race with a progressive horse.
“I think you need a horse that travels round here and this horse really travelled. He was in a good position throughout and Andrea (Atzeni) gave him a beautiful ride. He won nicely on the line and got the split when he needed it. We envisaged something like that and it came off.
“The winner last year Ajman King came back here on Oaks day. Once you have got form here, it is tempting to come back.”
Just That Lord took centre stage in the Investec Asset Finance Handicap after making it third-time lucky in the five-furlong contest when prevailing by a neck from Dark Shot.
Trainer Michael Attwater said of the 5-1 winner: “He was third in this last year and second the year before, and he was third in the Dash last year. He likes this track and he deserves his day.
“The other horse (Dark Shot) rattled down the inside and gave us a scare, but he does try very hard. I imagine we will save him for the Dash as he has had two quick runs.”
William Knight hopes the three-and-a-quarter-length success secured by Soto Sizzler (11-4 favourite) under Oisin Murphy in the Investec Corporate & Investment Banking Great Metropolitan Handicap is a sign of things to come for the season ahead.
Knight said: “He had a nice run in the Roseberry where he was in fifth gear the whole way round. He came out of that well and I had this race in mind. My only concern was whether he would handle the hill.
“Quite what I do with him now, I’m not sure. We will probably go to Glorious Goodwood maybe for that one-mile-six handicap. He might be a potential Ebor horse.”
Murphy completed a double later on the card after Le Don De Vie claimed the Investec Wealth Novice Stakes by a neck to give trainer Andrew Balding successive wins in the extended mile prize having won it last year with Master Of Wine.
Balding said of the 100-30 winner: “We will step back up in trip now, but it looked the right sort of place to start him.
“We won ,for Mick and Janice (Mariscotti, owners), the three-year-old handicap on Derby day a couple of years ago and they were very keen to have another go and he looks just the right type of horse for it.”