Journal racing pointed readers in the direction of Marco Botti’s Grendisar (5/1), who recorded a thrilling short-head success in the £45,000 Listedcoral.co.uk Winter Derby Trial on Saturday, holding the late thrust of James Tate’s 12/1 shot Lamar.
The five-year-old, whose win delighted his trainer, now looks on course to contest the Winter Derby next month.
“Grendisar hasn’t stopped improving and loves the all-weather,” said Botti. “He was coming back to a mile and a quarter, this was a good field and he has done so well.
“Martin (Harley) gave him a great ride. He was patient and challenged at the right time.
“Once Grendisar hit the front, he just idled — he thought that he had done enough.
“The plan has always been to run here, go for the Winter Derby on March 14.
“The owner asked me to nominate him for Dubai but, at the moment, I don’t think he has been invited for the Dubai World Cup and I don’t think the surface would be ideal for him.”
Harley added: “Grendisar has done nothing but improve.
“I followed Ryan (Moore, on 2/1 favourite Grandeur, who finished fourth) throughout the race and they went an even gallop but to be honest I still got there too soon.
“He pricked his ears when he got to the front.
“It’s good for him because he has been knocking on the door and is in great nick.
“It turned into a bit of a dash coming down the hill, but he has got a good turn of foot for a big horse.
“It suited my lad whatever way it went — he was good today.”
Grendisar was the second leg of a valuable double for Harley, who also landed the very competitive £45,000 Ladbrokes Handicap on Baddilini for shrewd Newmarket handler Alan Bailey.