Felix Natalis after winning at Naas (Gary Carson/PA)
15 September 2022

Naas victory of Felix Natalis means so much to Dascombe

15 September 2022

Felix Natalis provided trainer Tom Dascombe with his biggest winner since relocating to Lambourn after registering a lucrative and emotional success in the inaugural Goffs Sportsman’s Challenge at Naas.

It was announced in December that following a 12-year spell that included Classic glory with Brown Panther and over 700 winners, Dascombe was to leave Michael Owen’s Manor House Stables in Cheshire, with Hugo Palmer later confirmed as his successor.

Dascombe revealed in March that he had agreed a lease on Uplands, a Lambourn yard made famous by Fred Winter, and Felix Natalis was his first winner from his new base when scoring at Newbury in July.

Following subsequent defeats at Goodwood and Newbury, the Harry Angel colt got back on the winning trail at Ffos Las three weeks ago and was a 7-2 chance for his Irish assignment under Seamie Heffernan.

Always to the fore, Felix Natalis was well on top as he passed the post with two lengths in hand over Richard Hannon’s Miami Girl and the John Quinn-trained Signora Camacho as the raiding party dominated.

Dascombe said: “It’s been an unbelievable journey this last 10 months and I’ve been lucky enough to have some really, really good people stick with me.

“This horse left me on December 12 because the owners didn’t want him to be trained by someone they hadn’t chosen and he came back to me on April 1 because by then I’d got a yard.

Tom Dascombe was thrilled with the victory of Felix Natalis (Mike Egerton/PA) (PA Archive)

“That little boy, Felix Natalis – what a superstar. He’s never let me down, he’s learned on the job, he’s run good race after good race and today he smashed it.

“I’m so pleased for everybody concerned because we’ve all gone through the same journey and it’s immense for us to have a good quality horse who was inexpensive (€20,000) in the grand scheme of things because that’s where I started and that’s where I’m back to.

“We probably ought to sell him now, but I won’t! We’ve got no plans, this was the long-term project. I thought he’d be gelded by now and going to the sales, but we’ll have to rethink that won’t we?”

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