Rob Roy, a disappointment last year in the 3-year-old Classics, returned to action as a winner for Michael Stoute when favored in the Betfred.com Mile (Eng-II) at Sandown Saturday.
The 4-year-old American-bred son of Lear Fan, a 6-4 choice ridden by Mick Kinane for owner Phillip Newton, overtook the field of eight well over a furlong from home and drove to a comfortable one-length victory over Babodana. It was 1 1/4 lengths back to third-place finisher Kings Point, who set the pace.
A group III winner at Newmarket in 2005, Rob Roy was last as the second favorite in the Two Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) and next-to-last in the Champion Stakes (Eng-I).
"It was nice to see him have a smooth race as he pulled up lame in the Two Thousand Guineas and then had a niggle after the Champion," Stoute told Racing Post
Millsec Ltd. bred the winner, who is out of the Gone West
Next up would be the May 20 Juddmonte Lockinge Stakes (Eng-I) at Newbury, though Stoute was hesitant to commit Rob Roy to the race until he spoke with Kinane.
Another U.S. bred, Primary, kept his Classic hopes alive with a front-running victory in the 1 1/4-mile Betfred Classic Trial (Eng-III) on a Sandown course listed as good to firm.
The son of Giant's Causeway
-Prospective (Mr. Prospector) was ridden to victory by Darryll Holland for Newmarket trainer William Haggas and Highclere Thoroughbred Racing. G. Watts and Louise Humphrey bred Primary.
Primary led his four foes from the start but relinquished the advantage in the final stages after hanging left in response to the whip. But the bay colt came on again for Holland to win by a neck over The Last Drop. Baan was a head behind in third.