Connections of exciting French import Galapiat are looking forward to stepping the four-year-old up in class.
The Mark Johnston-trained four-year-old, who holds entries in the Jockey Club Stakes and Coronation Cup, galloped on resolutely from the front to win the Great Metropolitan Handicap at Epsom on Wednesday by four and a half lengths.
A son of Galileo and Lady Jane Digby, also trained by Johnston, he had formerly been with Andre Fabre in France and has had two starts for the Middleham man, winning at Leicester previously.
Johnston’s son and assistant, Charlie, said: “He was in Andre Fabre’s yard and was sent to the October Horses in Training sales. He had a problem with a hind foot and he was not fit for the sales.
“Kirsten Rausing asked dad to come have a look at him and he said he is a nice horse and that we could sort the foot out. I thought he was probably well treated off 85 at Leicester.
“He was on his own for a long time at Epsom and if something had come with him at the two-pole he would have won much easier.
“It is a bit of a tilt at windmills entering a horse rated 96 in the Coronation Cup, but that looks a bit more justified now. We have won the Jockey Club Stakes a few times. Often there are only four or five runners and it is not unlikely that he might go there.”
The Johnston team also went close on the Epsom card with Permian, who was just caught on the line by leading Investec Derby fancy Cracksman in the 10-furlong trial for the premier Classic.
Johnston added: “I thought two (furlongs) out we were in trouble, but then I thought we were going to win one out.
“He still ran brilliantly, though, so we were very happy.
“At this stage we see him as more of a King Edward VII horse than a Derby horse, but he’s earned the right to go for another trial at somewhere like Lingfield or Chester.”