By Graham Clark
Owner Mick Mariscotti saw his dreams of having his silks carried to glory in the Lexus Melbourne Cup move a potential step closer when Coltrane made light work of his opponents to come home the impressive winner of the Coral Marathon at Sandown Park today.
The five year old Mastercraftsman gelding landed the Ascot Stakes at Royal Ascot last month and took the step up to Listed company in his stride this afternoon. Dropped back to two miles, the well-supported 5-2 Favourite appeared in a league of his own when putting his assured stamina to good use under Rob Hornby to secure the fifth victory of his career.
Moving into contention midway down the home straight, Andrew Balding-trained runner soon put matters to bed once sent on by Hornby after resolutely galloping out to defeat Rodrigo Diaz by 10 lengths, with Calling The Wind a further three-quarters of a length adrift in third.
Mariscotti, who owns Coltrane with his wife Janice, said: “The horse just continues to surprise all of us. He has come out of Ascot, which was a really tough race, well and he has run a fantastic race today.
“He has got an entry in the Ebor and an entry in the Goodwood Cup, so we will take it one race at a time.
“It would be high on the list to go to Australia and we would love to go down there but we will be guided by Andrew.
“He lost a year through injury but he has come back incredibly strong.”
Before a potential trip Down Under to contest the Melbourne Cup, which is often described as the “race that stops a nation” an appearance in the Group One Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup, for which he was trimmed from 33-1 into 12-1 by Coral, could be next on the agenda according to Balding.
Balding added: “He is a great horse and he has been threatening to get his confidence back as he obviously had an injury. It took a couple of runs on the All-Weather to find his confidence but since the Chester Cup he has not looked back.
“That was the horse that won the Melrose, and he was very impressive that day. He looked back to his best there.
“He has had joint surgery and he seems sound now and he will certainly have an entry in the Melbourne Cup but it is something we will have to assess nearer the time.
“He is in the Goodwood Cup and that is a possibility. There is also the Lonsdale Cup and Doncaster Cup, so there are lots of nice races for him.”
Jockey Club Press Release, Sandown Park