Craven Stakes winner Stormy Antarctic looks set to take his place in the Group One Qipco 2000 Guineas at Rowley Mile racecourse later this month.
Ridden by George Baker, the three-year-old colt lowered the colours of John Gosden’s odds-on favourite Foundation in impressive fashion at the Newmarket Craven meeting on Thursday.
Delighted trainer Ed Walker said: “I’ve never had to prepare a Guineas horse and you only dream of horses like this, these are the reasons you get up at 4.30am, for horses like him.
“I never felt we came here for minor honours and he is by far and away the best three-year-old I’ve got.”
On the horse’s performance, Walker said: “That was awesome, I’ve always thought the world of him but I never thought he’d win a Craven and beat Foundation like that.
“He’s not the most sexy workhorse. He’s a very playful and exuberant horse and just does what he has to.
“Halfway through I thought he was in trouble on that ground and in this company, but George said it was not too bad and that he just flicked his head around.
“To then pick them up and finish as he did was exciting. This was supposed to be our guide to our next race and, god willing, we’ll come back in 16 days and hope it rains.
“He has very good form on soft ground but I’ve never thought he was a soft ground horse as he’s a very good moving horse and I’d be intrigued to see how he goes on faster ground.”
There was some comfort for Gosden, with Linguistic winning the 200,000 Tattersalls Millions 3-Y-O Trophy.
Partnered by William Buick, Gosden’s colt flew clear in the remaining stages of the race to win by a length-and-a-half of the closing pack.
The winning trainer, said: “That was a good way to break your maiden. He was a little fresh early on but he settled well.
“The race rather fell apart and William felt he was left in front earlier than he wanted. He looked about a bit and he was entitled to.
“He appreciated the ground and the step up in trip and we will look towards the Dante.”
The penultimate race of the three-day meeting also saw victory for Charlie Fellowes’ Accession in the Ben Burgess and Co Handicap.
On the Wednesday, Hugo Palmer enjoyed his sole success of the meeting, with favourite Gifted Master winning the 100,000 Tattersalls Millions 3-Y-O Sprint after beating old rival Waterloo Bridge by three and a half lengths.