Pablo Escobarr came out on top in a thrilling renewal of the £45,000 Listed 32Red Wild Flower Stakes (5.40pm) at Kempton Park on Wednesday evening.
Trained by William Haggas and ridden by Tom Marquand, Pablo Escobarr formed part of a classy eight-strong field that also included G2 scorer Loxley(Charlie Appleby/James Doyle) and 2018 G1 Irish St Leger third Weekender(John Gosden/Robert Havlin).
Pablo Escobarr, sent off the 9/2 second favourite, enjoyed a smooth run on the inside for much of the 12-furlong Polytrack contest and was angled off the rail at the top of the straight to challenge front runner Hermosura (Ralph Beckett/Richard Kingscote).
Pablo Escobarr established a clear lead with 300 yards remaining, while the 9/4 favourite Loxley was being cajoled into a challenging position by James Doyle. It briefly looked as though Loxley had his rival's measure well inside the final furlong, but Pablo Escobarr held on gamely to score by a neck in a time of 2m 29.99s. The slow-starting Hameem (John Gosden/Jim Crowley) stayed on to take third, a further four lengths behind.
Earlier in the campaign, Pablo Escobarr finished second to Investec Derby hero Anthony Van Dyck in the Listed Derby Trial at Lingfield Park and fifth in the G2 King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot.
After undergoing wind surgery, he returned to the track with a creditable second behind Lord North in a 10-furlong Listed race at Newmarket on November 2.
Maureen Haggas, assistant trainer to her husband, said: "That was a good performance from Pablo Escobarr.
"He has run some fine races in defeat this year and it was lovely to see him finally get his head in front.
"He stayed very well. He is very uncomplicated and is just a nice, improving horse.
"Tom gave him a lovely ride and I was impressed with how game he was when Loxley came to challenge him.
"He is a going to be a lovely horse for Turf next year and I will leave it up to William and the owners to discuss what they plan to do with him now.
"He could be one for the All-Weather or we could put him away. There are lots of options for him."
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