Patrick Janssens celebrated the biggest success of his career at Hove on Wednesday after Barricane Tiger cemented his rise through the ranks to take victory in the Coral Sussex Cup.
It was a case of the pupil getting one over the master as Janssens, a former assistant to seven-time champion trainer Mark Wallis, defeated his friend, and ex-boss, who was represented in the 515 metre contest by Calco Flyer, with the son of Razldazl Jayfkay.
Despite being sent off an 8-1 chance to claim the £10,000 first prize, the December 2013 dog made a slick exit from trap four to cut across the field at the opening turn and take up a lead he was not to surrender before posting a two and a quarter length success to give the Hockwold-based handler his first Category One victory.
“I’m over the moon with him and it is fantastic to win this prize as it is such a prestigious competition,” said Janssens.
“It was a very competitive race and at the end of the day he was the worst drawn dog. He pinged out, though, and cut across the field.
“Once he got to the lead I could not see anybody passing him. I have got dogs that go faster than him but it is not always the fastest dog that wins, it is about how brave they are.
“I had 12 great years working for Mark, and before that Linda Jones, and I really enjoyed my time there, but there comes a point when you want to do it yourself.”
While the Sussex Cup may have escaped the clutches of Wallis, the Lakenheath handler enjoyed a double on the support card highlighted by the short-head victory of Ela Ela Genie in the Coral Sprint Final.
“He has been plying his trade at Towcester and because he is only a young dog we have not really done much Open Racing with him elsewhere,” said Wallis.
“He is a very good dog and looks a sprinter on the upgrade. He is a tight railer so trap one is essential, but I think he is going to be a top notch sprinter.”
Billys Bullet completed the Imperial Kennels handler’s double when making a successful first visit back to the scene of his Coral Regency triumph with an impressive front-running victory in the supporting 695m open contest.
Both Wallis and Janssens will start their pursuits for more Category One glory at Monmore Green tonight as the opening round of the Ladbrokes Gold Cup gets under way.
While Janssens will rely on the chances of Bockos Alfie, there will be a triple assault launched by Wallis with Clondoty Alex, California and Roswell Iceman all set to contest the 480m event.
In the Category One Ladbrokes Summer Stayers event on the same card, Wallis will be represented by two of his dogs, namely Ferryforth Fran and Billys Bullet.
n Last night, Wallis’ Ribble Atom Was due to race in the Category One Colossus Bets TV Trophy Final at Towcester.