Owned by Sultan Ahmad Shah, West Drive was last seen finishing a creditable fifth in a competitive renewal of the Cumberland Plate having previously got the better of a subsequent winner when securing his second course victory at Windsor in June.
The son of Sea The Stars was stepping up beyond 1m4f for the first time yesterday and he can often take a little rousting along in the mid-part of his races, which proved the case here as Silvestre nudged him into the bridle at various points down the back straight.
However, West Drive responded to generously to his rider’s urgings as the six runners swept into the home straight, and as long-time leader Clownace One began to wilt inside the final quarter mile, West Drive made a timely challenge on the outside of the field, eventually getting the better of the reappearing Slunovrat in what is probably useful form for the level.
Roger said: “West Drive has proved steadily progressive this season and he saw out the step up in trip well here. He shaped like two miles would be within his compass, which opens up more options going forward.”