Owned by the China Horse Club, Emmaus has improved rapidly through the ranks on his four starts to date, finishing fourth behind subsequent Group 1 winner Al Wukair in the Listed Prix Isonomy as a juvenile prior to landing a warm class two handicap over this course and distance on his sole start as a three-year-old.
Returned to stakes level for his seasonal reappearance, the son of Invincible Spirit made an emphatic statement for the summer ahead by accounting for rearranged Ayr Gold Cup winner Donjuan Triumphant by a length and a half, with recent Listed Cork Stakes winner Downforce a further length and a quarter back in third.
In doing so, Emmaus became the sixth winner of this £60,000 prize since it was renamed in memory of the former Plantagenet King and twenty-four hours of heavy rainfall ensured underfoot conditions this afternoon were not too dissimilar to those experienced at the Battle of Bosworth Field where Richard lost his life in 1485.
Andrea Atzeni settled Emmaus towards the rear of the nine runners as Kimberella and Paul Hanagan cut out solid early fractions.
The strong gallop began to take its toll on a number of the principles inside the second-half of the contest and Emmaus was still last but one with seemingly plenty to do passing through the final quarter mile.
However, the four-year-old responded generously to Andrea’s urgings — picking up particularly well in the heavy ground — and he stormed to the front inside the final half-furlong to confirm his upwardly-mobile profile and win going away.
A €580,000 Goffs Orby yearling purchase, Emmaus is from the family of G2 Coventry Stakes winner Verglas and high-class sprinter and subsequent broodmare Cassandra Go and he has the potential to develop into a stallion prospect in his own right given the giant strides has made in his short career to date.
Roger said: “Emmaus is a very talented colt who has come a long way in a short space of time. I was a little worried about the testing ground for him, but he picked up really smartly on it and proved himself to be versatile from that perspective. He shapes like he’ll get a mile, but he’s really effective at this trip for now, and it would make sense to step him up to Group company over seven furlongs for his next start.”