Douglas Whyte combined with debutant Lite’n In My Veins to land Saturday’s Group III Sir Ernest Lee-Steere Classic (1400m) in deteriorating conditions at Ascot.
The three-year-old son of Henrythenavigator won a 950m barrier trial at Lark Hill on Monday and trainer Fred Kersley had enough confidence to start the gelding in a Group III contest on debut five days later.
With the track downgraded to soft(6), Whyte was content to let Lite’n In My Veins settle worse than midfield as Remember Berlin and Puteri Jewel set the early speed.
Whyte allowed Lite’n In My Veins to balance up around the home turn and once into clear room accelerated between horses to reach the lead inside the final 100m.
Yoshi Noxious ($6.50) closed late on the outside but fell half a length behind Lite’n In My Veins ($4.60) at the finish with Pushin’ Shapes ($6) a length further back third.
Whyte had a positive report about Lite’n In My Veins.
“He gave a terrific feel on the way to the start and I knew I was on something special,” he told Sky Thoroughbred Central.
“I think he is going to get better from here on in and when he steps up to the mile you will see an even more progressive horse than what you saw today.
“It’s not easy for a first timer to win over 1400 (metres) let alone in Group III company and I’d be surprised in a year’s time if you don’t see him at Group I level.”
Whyte said the race being run early made all the difference.
“I’m glad it was the second race because if it had been any later he wouldn’t have won,” Whyte said.
“He wouldn’t have handled the track, he’s got too nice an action.”