Martin Harley continued his 100 per cent record on Apollo One with an enterprising ride in the Listed Get Your Ladbrokes Daily Odds Boost Spring Cup at Lingfield Park on Saturday.
Peter Charalambous’ stable star is now guaranteed a place in the Ladbrokes All-Weather Three-Year-Old Championship over six furlongs at Lingfield Park on Finals Day, Good Friday, April 2.
Sent off an 11/1 chance, Apollo One initially raced wide in rear of the eight runners before making a sweeping move to lead approaching the home turn.
He built up a two-length advantage passing the furlong pole and had just enough in the tank to fend off the fast-finishing Megallan (John Gosden/Robert Havlin) by a short-head.
The 2/1 favourite El Drama (Roger Varian/David Egan) stayed on to take third after becoming outpaced, a length and a half further behind.
Harley has been in the saddle for all three of Apollo One’s career wins, with the pair previously combining to land a novice auction event at Newmarket in August and a six-furlong conditions race at Salisbury in October.
Harley said: “I thought there was going to be a bit more pace than that and, being drawn seven, I did not want to rush Apollo One.
“This horse has a lot of natural speed and, if you set him alight, you could find yourself in a difficult position.
“I had to accept being three deep and fortunately when I pulled out to challenge, I had first run on them.
“I felt it had to do something because the pace was very slack down the side. We did not go quick early, but he has a good change of gear and thankfully it worked around here.
“Full credit to the horse because he was in front a long way out. I was bit a worried that it was going to be a very bad ride but fortunately it paid off.
“When this horse drops back to six furlongs, he is going to be a different animal. He is a really good horse. Maybe there could be bigger and better things for him later in the year.
“It is always interesting to see the three-year-olds coming out at this time of the year. I won a maiden on Megallan last year and he was the one flying home. He is going to improve for the run, and so will my lad.”
Regarding his association with the horse, Harley added: “That’s because I live next door to Peter. If I finished second, I would have had to change my address!
“Three from three is a good result. He is a flagbearer for the stable. They are real hard workers – and the horse looked a million dollars.”
Apollo One holds off Megallan, picture All Weather Championships