Panther pounces at Chester
Michael Owen's Brown Panther is all stamina and it came to the fore as he powered away to win the Boodles Diamond Ormonde Stakes at Chester.
Trained locally by Tom Dascombe, Brown Panther was having his first run since losing nothing in defeat when eighth in the Melbourne Cup, where he picked up an injury.
Only four went to post as the soft ground forced a couple of non-runners, and everything went to plan for Richard Kingscote in the saddle.
Jathabah set the pace, with Brown Panther just behind and the odds-on favourite Hillstar in third.
Dascombe's charge quickened up with three furlongs to run and while Ryan Moore tracked him on Hillstar, he never looked like getting on terms.
Brown Panther pulled two and a quarter lengths clear to win at 6-4.
Owen had stated before the race that the Ascot Gold Cup will be the big aim.
Kingscote said: "We went a nice even gallop and he's growing up, it makes my life a lot easier.
"I knew Ryan was there, I was really pleased between the three pole and the two when he lengthened - I looked at the big screen to see Ryan bang there but it's hard to make up lengths on that ground.
"It's nice for the stable to win races at this meeting."
Owen said: "I'm surprised that other people are surprised that he's won as he's always the pick of the paddock and he's a great looking horse.
"We mapped out the Ascot Gold Cup as the big early-season target and we thought we might as well come to Chester first.
"Everyone knows our love of the track and it's our part of the world.
"Probably a big, galloping track would be more beneficial to him but he won here as a three-year-old and he was fit.
"We'll think about Melbourne again and Champions Day also comes into the equation with a Group Two race, but we'll get the first half of the season out of the way first."
Paddy Power go 8-1 from 10s for the Ascot Gold Cup.