Flag Of Honour makes it two on end at Rosehill

After hitting the line strongly to salute at Newcastle on debut last month, the Kris Lees -prepared Flag Of Honour ($5.50) has made it two wins on the bounce with a determined victory at Rosehill Gardens in the two-year-old handicap.

The American Pharoah gelding held off race favourite Alberich ($3.40F) by a long neck, with early leader Vinnie’s Spirit ($3.90) a further two and a quarter lengths back in third.

After drifting back to settle third-last one off the fence in the early stages, Flag Of Honour had a bit of work to do before shifting to the centre of the track in the home straight to set out after the leading bunch.

The second-placed galloper Alberich put in a solid fight over the closing stages, but the Lees representative was simply too strong on the line.

“He had a bit to do there today,” Lees said.

“I thought in the run the favoured horses were up on the speed and were getting a nice enough run in front and nothing really took him into the race. He had to peel out and do it all himself.

“I was probably more confident at the furlong than the last 50m, but he stuck his head out where it mattered.”

Jockey Hugh Bowman was full of praise for a horse having just his second day at the races, and believes there is further improvement to come.

“I was pretty impressed, he’s a horse that looks as though he’s still got a bit of maturing to do physically, but he’s got a beautiful action,” Bowman said.

“I’ve ridden a couple of nice young ones (American Pharoahs), we’ll start to see them filter through to the races more and more now. I think this guy’s a good example of what he can produce.

“He’s an exciting horse for the future.”

As to what that holds, trainer Lees was thinking big.

“I think he’s a horse that we probably back off him now and give him a chance (for the Spring Champion Stakes).”

About RS NewsWire

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