Ventura Storm gave his Middleham Park owners syndicate another sensation day as he landed the Group 1 Premio Jockey Club in San Siro.
The St Leger second had to surive a tense stewards’ inquiry to give owners Middleham Park Racing a first Group One success of the season and third in all.
Just touched off in the Ladbrokes St Leger on his previous start, the Richard Hannon-trained colt held local hope Full Drago by a neck under Cristian Demuro, as the pair pulled clear of Andrew Balding’s Elbereth in third.
Sir Michael Stoute’s Arab Spring was fourth and the Marco Botti-trained Dylan Mouth last of the seven runners.
“We were caught a bit flat-footed when the local horse went on – we managed to get to him with a furlong to go, but as our horse went by the two of them came together,” said Middleham’s Tim Palin.
“You do worry when it’s that close, but it was a superb performance and a great ride by the jockey. He made a difference in the finish.
“We’re thrilled to win our third Group One – we won one with Toormore in 2013, one with G Force in 2014 and we missed out last year, so we were desperate to have one this year.
“It’s great for everybody and a great plan that came together.
“The horse was very gutsy. He had every reason after a hard season to down tools, but he dug deep and the jockey got the best out of him.”
That was probably Ventura Storm’s last race of the season.
Palin added: “He’s had a long, hard season. He’s won his Group One. I think we’ll put him away for the season and probably start 2017 off with the Coronation Cup as his first serious target.
“He might have a run or two along the way.”