The fabulous The Last Lion (2c Choisir-Mala Mala, by Brief Truce) proved himself better than ever when taking a classy renewal of the G1 Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday.
The Choisir colt, whose season began when winning the Brocklesby Stakes at Doncaster in April, battled gamely to win the six-furlong event from previous Group winners Blue Point and Mehmas.
Jockey Joe Fanning was enjoying a first top-level success aboard Mark Johnston’s charge, who was a facile winner in Group 3 company earlier in September.
“”What a fantastic horse. It has been fairy story right from the beginning. Here he is, on fast ground, running the race of a lifetime on his 10th start of the year. It is another advert for going on and running them,” said Johnston. ”It’s fantastic for Joe. He doesn’t usually get the opportunity to ride in the Group 1s but hopefully he will get more chances to do so before he retires.”
Fanning added: “He is a good horse. He has been tough all year. His work early on was brilliant in soft ground and he won on soft in the Broklesby. I thought it might be against him today, but it didn’t seem to bother him. He is a very laid-back horse and very versatile, very tough.”