Darryll Holland shone on Barbajuan to gain an all-the-way win in the Solario Stakes at Sandown yesterday.
The Neville Callaghan-trained colt bowled along in front in the Group Three contest, sticking to the far rail in the straight as the rest of the eight-strong field came up the middle of the course. The unbeaten Matloob looked a big danger as he moved easily upsides the winner two furlongs out, but Holland dug deep on Barbajuan to repel the 9-4 joint favourite and see off the later challenge of Milk It Mick by half a length.
"That was always going to be the plan, to get to the front and stay on the far rail," Callaghan said. "There are no better jockeys for a front-runner than Darryll."
Barbajuan had finished fifth to Nevisian Lad in Newmarket's July Stakes and fourth to Three Valleys in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot. "He was a bit unlucky in the Coventry Stakes when he had to challenge up the centre of the course," Callaghan said. "Christophe Soumillon said he should have been second. Then nothing went right at Newmarket last time when he wasn't quite right, so we gave him a nice break to help him recover and he was a fresh and happy horse today.
"His owners, Team Havana, are a syndicate of owners led by Andy Smith, which includes some pretty big names, such as Robert Sangster. They will decide what they want to do with him and there are plenty of options, either here or in America."
The colt was named after "a type of pastry which is only available in the most expensive coffee shops in Monte Carlo," the trainer added. "Andy regularly meets up with Michael Tabor there to enjoy a barbajuan and to chat about their horses, and how their trainers are messing them up!"
Holland's riding was less distinguished in the Listed Atalanta Stakes, in which he took a wide route on Spiritual Air similar to the one he followed on Falbrav in last month's King George in pursuit of better ground. The tactics proved equally fruitless, as Spiritual Air quickly dropped out of contention in the home straight.
The Henry Cecil-trained Play That Tune looked set to score until overhauled by the 5-4 favourite Lady Bear, the only mare in the field, who made her experience tell against her eight filly rivals to gain her first success outside handicap company with a length to spare. The winner, with the black type scarcely dry against her name, could make a swift reappearance at York on Wednesday.Reuse content