I love it when a horse I have followed from day one continues to repay your faith. The Michael Owen bred Brown Panther has done so often, and did so again yesterday at a value early price of 4/1. He won the Cantor Fitzgerald Henry II Stakes at Sandown easily.
Trainer Tom Dascombe said: “All he can do is turn up and do his best. He goes on any ground, trip doesn’t seem to be an issue and we are delighted with him. Our horses rarely win first time out, he only had to beat a non-stayer (at Chester). So today was a test and realistically he had to come out on top if he was going to go for the Gold Cup.”
Dascombe was asked about the chances of Brown Panther winning the Ascot Gold Cup (current best price = 7/1 ) Tom said: “He’s easier to ride, easier to place in a race and he clearly stays. I think he’ll get all the trip at Ascot. He’s a half-brother to about six three-mile hurdle winners. The further he goes, the better he gets.”
It was November 2010 when I first tipped Brown Panther to win. That was his first race. He has yet to win a Group 1 race but the 6 year old appears to be maturing nicely.
Yesterday’s three and a half length victory put to bed any thoughts some had that Brown Panther wouldn’t back up the earlier victory at Chester which came after a 185 day absence.
Dascombe says of his stable star: “He’s getting easier to train. He’s just more relaxed and it’s easier to tell when he’s right and when he’s not. He’s not wearing his heart on his sleeve like he used to.”
I think all that remains for Brown Panther is to win a high profile Group 1 race. And that could well be the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot.