Pupil Team Already Eyeing St Leger Bid

Model Pupil created a good impression, when making a winning seasonal return at Newmarket’s Craven meeting. His trainer, Charles Hills, is already making plans to train his promising colt for the world’s oldest classic, the Ladbrokes St Leger at Doncaster, in September, writes Elliot Slater.

The Prince Khaled Abdullah-owned son of Derby winner, Sinndar, had shown plenty of promise on his only outing, last term, when finishing third behind Mighty Ambition, in a Newbury maiden contest, in late-September.

The winner was sent off favourite and went on to run a respectable fifth, behind the very impressive, Trumpet Major, in the Group 3 Craven Stakes at Newmarket; the runner-up, Rewarded, won a Yarmouth maiden in good style on his only subsequent outing.

Model Pupil was faced with ten rivals for a mile-and-a-quarter maiden contest at the Craven meeting. He was sent off a 6/1 chance, having generally proved easy to back in a race in which John Gosden’s Dante Stakes and Epsom Derby entry, Shantaram, was expected to go one better than his nose second on debut, last year, in a hot Sandown maiden.

The half-brother to 2000 Guineas third, Gan Amhras, was sent off a well backed 5/4 favourite in the horse racing betting .

Michael Hills settled Model Pupil at the back of the field, before beginning his move, passing the bushes, and racing down into the dip. The three-year-old picked up in great style to come flying through to lead at the furlong pole, only for Shantaram to come with a wet sail on the uphill run to the line. Model Pupil dug in well though, and managed to hold off William Buick’s mount by a nose, in the closest finish of the two-day fixture.

Hills is certain that his charge is blessed with abundant stamina, and has already marked down the world’s oldest classic, the St Leger at Doncaster, in late-summer, as the long-term target for his promising performer. Show your faith in Model Pupil by placing a bet on racing; the horse may yet triumph in South Yorkshire.

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