Favourite backers got off to a perfect start when Madassa returned to winners list in the Westspeed 3YO Handicap (1100m) at Ascot yesterday.

The Lindsey Smith-trained Due Sasso colt broke through after runner-up placing’s at his previous two starts including to Tudor Bolt at Bunbury last week.

“He has been in good form and I thought he should have won at Bunbury when going through the race,” said Smith.

“Maybe the horse that beat him isn’t a bad horse and perhaps is a Saturday horse in his own right,”

Madassa failed to jump from the gates with his usual speed before jockey Alan Kennedy moved forward to sit outside of Rio Flyer.

He dashed clear inside the final 200m and withstood a strong challenge from Stocks who battled on gamely.

The margin was a neck with a further 1 ¼ lengths to Helms Gate who ran on from last.

“He has been jumping out a little too hard in his races so I asked Alan to let him come out on his own steam,” said Smith.

“He settled a lot better so if he has a future on Saturday’s he has to learn to go further than 1000 metres.”

Kennedy retains his perfect strike rate on Madassa after steering him to a maiden victory at Bunbury in December.

“Alan does all the work on him and comes down to the beach on Sunday’s,” said Smith.

“He rides very well and deserved the opportunity.”

Stable Secret, who defeated Madassa by a narrow margin when they clashed at Ascot last month, ran last in the field of six.