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Winning Ways

Winning Ways put up a really impressive performance to win the seven-furlong three-year-olds’ handicap at Ascot last Friday evening.

Restrained early and settled at the back of the field through the early stages of the race by John Egan, the Jeremy Noseda-trained colt travelled well through his race. Moving up easily between horses to join the front rank three furlongs out, he hit the front at the two-furlong pole and he cleared away from his rivals readily despite hanging a little to his right initially and then back to his left. He ran all the way to the line, putting almost four lengths between himself and his rivals by the time he got there and clocking a good time, 0.05secs/furlong slower than Racing Post par and the fastest time of the evening by far.

A promising juvenile in two runs over six furlongs last season, the Lope De Vega colt appears to have improved this season for Noseda since being fitted with a tongue-tie and a hood, and since being stepped up to seven furlongs latterly. He won on his three-year-old debut over six furlongs at Lingfleld in January and then, after a break of two and a half months, returned to put up a nice performance in finishing third behind Bacchus (with whom he reversed placings on Friday) and Chessman in a decent seven-furlong handicap at Newbury on Greenham Stakes weekend. He was meeting Bacchus on the same terms on Friday, and Bacchus appeared to run his race in finishing third, so Winning Ways probably progressed significantly from his Newbury run.

The handicapper raised him by 14lb for Friday’s win, which is not insignificant, but he won with plenty in hand, and it is probable that he can progress again. He will be of interest in another handicap off a mark of 99, but he would also be interesting if he was stepped up in grade. This seven-furlong trip could be his optimum, he is bred for it, he is a half-brother to Dick Whittington, who won the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes and the Group 3 Anglesey Stakes over six furlongs, and the Group 3 Ballycorus Stakes over seven. He has pace and he stays seven furlongs well.

12th May 2017