Heavy favorite Goldspur could only finish third as Westover came out on top in a thrilling climax of the bet365 Classic Trial at Sandown.
Charlie Appleby’s next Derby hero Adayar finished second in the Group Three contest 12 months ago and stable mate Goldspur was in fashion to do better as a 6/5 favourite.
A former winner on the track and third in a Group 1 in France on his last juvenile start, the Dubawi colt tried to go all the way under William Buick but gave the best of it late.
Westover, trained by Ralph Beckett, who also made his winning debut at Sandown before finishing second in his next two starts, was a 5/1 shot in the hands of Rob Hornby and took the lead in the final half hour despite hanging to the left. .
Having hesitated to enter the starting stalls and spent most of the race at the back of the pack, Jamie Spencer produced Cash with what looked like a winning late race against the far rail, but he was one step away. short line head.
Westover races in the silks of Juddmonte and Barry Mahon, managing director of Ireland and European racing for the owner-breeder, said: “He has won well here and likes the track. The uphill finish suits him well and he has very good form as a two- We felt he improved over the winter and today he probably showed that he has.
“There was a really bad thunderstorm that morning at Pontefract before the race (when he was second on his last start last year) and the ground got very loose and it just wasn’t suitable for him to ride. 100% Ryan (Moore) rode it that day and felt that if he had time left, he would do things a little differently.
“He’s a good horse. He’s out of a great stallion (Frankel) and has a good pedigree and I hope he continues to improve. He’s quite versatile when it comes to terrain. A good ground or either side would suit, he is a big horse and might not want it very quickly, but a good safe ground would suit him.
“There is no plan. He is still in the Epsom Derby. We are going to go with Prince Khalid’s family and see what they would like to do. Ralph and Prince Khalid’s family will decide if he have another race ahead. Looked a little green again today so if there was a race that fit the schedule well then I would say another race wouldn’t hurt .
“He’s a horse that we’ve always seen as a potential Epsom horse and today he probably showed he’s on the road, so hopefully he can stay in one piece and carry on. to improve.”
Hornby added: “He could be a Dante horse.”
David Simcock had no immediate plans for the runner-up, adding: “I’m delighted. You don’t know how good they are because we don’t have too many horses of this type. is well trained and has performed well with what he has trained with.
“He ran into a young girl who hadn’t done well at all. We were hoping he would be a good horse, and it looks like he is. He finished well and came across the line really strong. The fact that he didn’t have a break until late is absolutely irrelevant.”
Alex Merriam, representing Godolphin, said of third-placed Goldspur: “He’s running well and just got beaten by a few top horses that day, simple as that. We’ll see how he does and then do a plan moving forward.”