By Simon Jackson at Sandown.
Paddy Power have cut Brown Panther’s price for the Ascot Gold Cup to 6-1 (from 10-1) after an emphatic victory in the Cantor Fitzgerald Henry II Stakes at Sandown.
The six-year-old, who is owned by ex-England International striker Michael Owen and Betfair founder Andrew Black, proved to have too many guns for his rivals as he belied the soft to heavy ground conditions to score by three and a half lengths.
The son of Shirocco tracked the leaders in the hands of Richard Kingscote before taking it up at the furlong. He was ridden out to comfortably land the two miles and half a furlong event.
The manner of the victory in the Group 3 contest delighted his trainer Tom Dascombe, who confirmed his charge will now target the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot on June 19.
“I am delighted really,” Dascombe said. “All he can do is turn up and do his best. He goes on any ground. The trip doesn’t seem to be an issue. I am absolutely delighted with him.
“Tonight was definitely a step forward from his last start win at Chester.
“We rarely have horses win first time out and he won there in a sort of way by default, as many of the good horses dropped out of the race.
“We had to come out on top tonight if we were realistically going to go for the Ascot Gold Cup and all being well we will.
“I have no concerns about good ground at Ascot. It would just help him get the [two and a half mile] trip I think. He ran well in the King George on lightning fast ground. He goes on anything.
“He has come here today and beaten everything that has been put in front of him.
“Now we have got to go to Ascot and do it again.”
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