Jeremy Noseda's Rebel Soldier narrowly justified favouritism from the fast-finishing Dandino in the Betfair Gordon Stakes at Glorious Goodwood yesterday.
Conduit and Harbinger, the last two winners of the Group Three contest, have gone on to great things and a crack at the Ladbrokes Great Voltigeur Stakes is next on the agenda for this year's victor.
The 4-1 jolly was never that far from a scorching pace set by Corsica, with Ryan Moore taking up the running on the chestnut a furlong and a half out.
But the James Given-trained Dandino really found his stride close home and was narrowing the gap with every stride, only for the post to come too soon as he went down by a head, with just a neck back to the staying-on Arctic Cosmos in third.
Noseda said: “He is an improving horse, he has worked well at home and he has done that nicely. I'm very, very pleased as he has taken a step up after winning a handicap off a mark of 88, he won that handicap easily but to win a Group Three he is going in the right direction.”
When asked about swerving the John Smith's Cup, for which he was ante-post favourite, Noseda went on: “I wasn't sure he was ready to take on the hustle and bustle as he is still a bit of a baby, but thank goodness the decision to come here has been rewarded.
“I think we will go on and have a crack at the Voltigeur, sadly I don't think the St Leger is in his spectrum in terms of staying but we will see where we are after that race.
“He's entered in the Leger so we'll take the next step and see where we are, but in my own mind I have huge doubts about him staying and he might even be better at a mile and a quarter.”
Given, who had struck in the opener with Indian Days, said of the runner-up: “The run points towards the Leger being a very sensible target.”