Young Rascal and Morando served up a thrilling finish as they dead-heated in the Teddington Royal British Legion Stakes at Newbury.
Young Rascal, strongly fancied for the Derby after winning the Chester Vase earlier in the season, looked to have done enough when he cruised to the front under Jim Crowley with two furlongs to run.
Scarlet Dragon then briefly threatened before dropping away, leaving Morando (8-1) to emerge from the pack.
Rob Hornby looked sure to get there too late on Andrew Balding’s charge, but the evens favourite Young Rascal began to toil a little in front and the pair crossed the line together.
Balding said: “He just got up to dead-heat. He did well as he was squeezed up a couple of times.
“He showed he stays the mile and a half and that was the key. It opens up the door to a lot more options next year, so it’s exciting.”
Haggas told Racing UK: “I thought we’d won, but the longer it went on, I thought I’d settle for the dead-heat.
“I learned a bit today, we’ll stay at a mile and a half because he didn’t look like he wanted stepping up in trip.
“The owner will be pleased. He didn’t want a stayer, he wanted him to be quicker!”
Haggas, the leading trainer at Newbury this season, was also on the mark with Luxor (7-1) in the Sir Gerald Whent Memorial Nursery Handicap.
Marcus Tregoning could have a potential Classic hope on his hands in Mohaather, who registered a striking victory in the Molson Coors Stakes.
He had finished second and won his only two races to date yet was sent off an unconsidered 33-1 shot for a race better known as the Horris Hill.
Ridden by Martin Dwyer, who partnered Tregoning’s Derby winner Sir Percy, Mohaather stayed on powerfully to beat Azano by a length and a half.
He was introduced into the betting for next year’s 2000 Guineas at 33-1 by BetVictor.
Kingman has made startling start to life as a stallion and could have another nice prospect in the shape of Roger Varian’s Nausha (11-4 joint-favourite) who won the first division of the fillies’ novice stakes under David Egan.
“The stallion is going great guns and she’s a lovely filly from a very good family,” Varian told Racing UK.
“She’s a big filly and has taken time to get ready, but we were pleased with that.
“We’ve got four or five Kingmans and we like them all.
“She didn’t look like she should have been starting over less than a mile, but she didn’t look slow. John Lowe had been riding her at home and deserves some credit.
“I think you can be a little excited about her, she’s got a top-class pedigree and she can only strengthen.”
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