Starman takes top billing in Garrowby contest
Starman maintained his unbeaten record with an impressive display in the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Garrowby Stakes at York.
Following a successful racecourse debut at Lingfield in July, Ed Walker’s three-year-old doubled his tally when claiming the notable scalp of the Queen’s King’s Lynn in a novice event at Doncaster last month.
The Dutch Art colt faced a significant step up in class on the Knavesmire, with last year’s winner Dakota Gold, progressive filly Aristocratic Lady and hardened sprinter Judicial among his eight rivals in the six-furlong Listed contest.
And while the 7-2 chance was being niggled along by Tom Marquand from not long after the halfway stage, Starman responded generously to his rider’s urging to pick up the front-running favourite Dakota Gold and he had almost two lengths in hand at the line.
Watan was four and a half lengths further away back in third.
Walker said of the winner: “He was awesome today – he’s a really exciting horse.
“It was a big step up for him. Just the tempo these guys go is totally different to what you’d get in a novice race.
He's the type of horse we'll be working back from Royal Ascot with next year, I think
“Against these six and seven-year-old sprinters, for him to produce a performance like that is huge credit to the horse.”
Paddy Power cut Starman to 10-1 from 33-1 for the Qipco British Champions Sprint at Ascot on October 17, but he is far from certain to line up on Champions Day.
Walker added: “We’ll look at it, but only if the ground is good or faster, which it probably won’t be.
“We’ve just about got away with the ground today – Tom said he wasn’t in love with it.
“It could be that the ground will be gone for him for the rest of the season, but we’ll see. He’s the type of horse we’ll be working back from Royal Ascot with next year, I think.”