The unbeaten Western Hymn (3c High Chaparral-Blue Rhapsody, by Cape Cross) looks set to bid to emulate his sire High Chaparral in the G1 Derby after landing the G3 Classic Trial at a soggy Sandown on Friday.
William Buick steered John Gosden’s charge to a length and three-quarter success in the colours of owner Robin Geffen and led home a 1-2-3 for Coolmore sires with the Andrew Balding-trained Impulsive Moment (3c Galileo-Luas Line, by Danehill) in second and Master Carpenter (3c Mastercraftsman-Fringe, by In The Wings) taking third.
“This was by far the hardest task he has encountered but he needed experience,” said Buick. “He handled the ground as good as any of the runners but it wasn’t ideal for them. He’s got such a good turn of foot so that ground slows him down. It’s testing out there. He idled a bit in front but did it well. He hit the front a furlong and a half out and that’s a long way in this ground.
“It was a good performance, he got the job done. There’s no doubt that he’s an exciting horse. He hasn’t done anything wrong so far.”
Gosden is planning a trip to the G2 Dante Stakes at York before hopefully heading to Epsom with the Newsells Park Stud-bred colt.
“He’s got a good turn of foot, which he couldn’t show on that ground, and I think William hit the front sooner than he should have done. The horse is still a baby so started looking around a bit,” said Gosden.
“But I like the way he saw out the trip. It was a test of stamina over a mile and a quarter up this hill. I was delighted with his run and pleased that he showed he will stay, that was a big question mark on pedigree for me beforehand. He’s also got very good balance.
“He’d run once at Kempton, then in a graduation race at Newbury and here two weeks later so I’ve always wanted to take him to the Dante and then go from there.”