Marco Botti enjoyed a very happy Easter after Grendisar lived up to his favourite tag to land the £200,000 Coral Easter Classic at Lingfield Park.
The 4/6 favourite, trained by Newmarket-based Botti, pounced late in the final furlong to catch Metropol and Fire Fighting and seal a seventh win at the Surrey race course by a decisive length.
The six-year-old, who finished third last year, is the All-Weather season’s leading earner, having previously this year won the Winter Derby Trial and Winter Derby, and as a result clinched the All-Weather Horse Of The Year title.
“Grendisar has looked great for the last three weeks,” said Botti, who trains out of the Green Ridge Stables.
“We could not have been happier with him, but you never know as things can go wrong in the race.
“He enjoys it around Lingfield and a mile and a quarter is his best trip.
“This year has been his best yet with all the big races he has won.
“Unfortunately, he is not so good on turf but that is not a problem with all the good prize money on the All-Weather now.
“The plan is to put him away over the summer and bring him back next year as a seven-year-old.
“I was quietly confident with his form and we couldn’t be happier with him coming into the race. He’s a lovely horse and he deserved to win a big race like today. I am really delighted.”
n Meanwhile, Sea Of Flames, trained by another Newmarket-based trainer, David Elsworth, clinched the £150,000 32Red All-Weather Three-Year-Old Mile Championships to give champion jockey Silvestre De Sousa a 13th winner of 2016.
Peter Maughan, travelling head lad to Elsworth, said: “It was a great performance from Sea Of Flames. He got into a lot of trouble in his last race and it was a better run today.
“He won two races here earlier in the year nicely and then we were disappointed last time but he’s put that right today.”
n Newmarket-based jockey Luke Morris was crowned champion All-Weather jockey - his second consecutive title - for the third time on Good Friday after riding 85 winners for 30 different stables over the campaign.
n Elsewhere, the Roger Varian-trained Postponed lived up to his favourite billing in the Dubai Sheema Classic on Saturday by setting a new course record under the stewardship of Andrea Atzeni.
There was also joy for jockey Ryan Moore, who steered Real Steel to victory in the Dubai Turf.