Quality three-year-old Jacquinot has landed a first-up win that had punters taking the short odds at Sandown holding concerns during the race.
Having his first start since finishing ninth in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington in October, Jacquinot dived late to claim the Group 3 Manfred Stakes (1300m) on Thursday.
The Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr-trained galloper is now Group 1 bound, with the C F Orr Stakes (1400m) on February 11 and the Futurity Stakes (1400m) also at Sandown on February 25, next on the agenda.
Sent out the $2.10 favourite with Ladbrokes under Damian Lane, Jacquinot scored a short-head win over Bank Maur ($7.50) with Ruthless Dame ($11) a nose away third.
Jacquinot was a little slow to muster speed from his inside draw and Lane found himself in tricky position on the fence.
“He’s got that big, long stride and he was in an awkward spot behind a longshot and Damian did a good job to get him off the fence,” Kent Jnr said.
“The horse is very game. It’s not easy to come up underneath them, but he kept coming.
“It was a short turnaround from the Coolmore to today, but he’s done a terrific job and it’s two-and-a-half weeks and up in trip to the C F Orr, so it will be perfect for him.
“He’s got a lot of improvement to come. It was a very smart win and bring on the C F Orr.”
Lane, who partnered Jacquinot to his win in the Group 1 Golden Rose in Sydney last spring, said the colt was an impressive horse that keeps on improving.
The jockey is looking forward to seeing the colt back at weight-for-age and against older horses in the C F Orr Stakes.
“He didn’t have long out but he’s filled out nicely and it’s exciting for the autumn ahead,” Lane said.
“He had a bit of weight up against these horses today, so it will be good to see him under weight-for-age conditions again and running so well like he did in the spring.”