Matterhorn scales new heights with brilliant win in Easter Classic
- Matterhorn upstaged favourite Wissahickon to win Easter Classic at Lingfield
- It continues the four-year-old’s rapid ascent on the world stage of racing
- Trainer Mark Johnston revealed the horse was set to go to the sales last October
The rapid ascent of Matterhorn on racing’s world stage continued on Friday with a stunning victory in the Easter Classic at Lingfield.
Much of the pre-race talk had surrounded 1-3 favourite and Winter Derby winner Wissahickon.
However, John Gosden’s four-year-old was trapped wide for much of the contest and he expended valuable energy trying to move to the quarters of Joe Fanning aboard the winner three furlongs from home.
Matterhorn continues to scale great heights after a stunning Easter Classic victory
In contrast, Matterhorn was always in a smooth rhythm. He tracked the pace-setting Court House before sweeping to the front turning for home and powering clear of a toiling Wissahickon for a stunning seven-length success.
Delighted winning trainer Mark Johnston revealed that events could have taken a very different turn for the hero of the hour.
He said: ‘We thought he was a very good horse, but he had problems and was going to go to the sales last October.
Victory for Matterhorn completed a memorable day for Mark Johnston and Joe Fanning
‘We ran him just once before it to see if he was worth keeping and once he started on the all-weather and winning we had this in mind.
‘We thought long and hard if he was going to run over a mile or a mile and a quarter, but we had Cardsharp for the mile and we decided we shouldn’t run away from Wissahickon.’
Fanning said: ‘It was a lovely performance. We went a good even pace and that set it up for me. We kicked off the bend and I knew it was going to take a good one to get past me.’
Victory for Matterhorn completed a memorable day for the Johnston- Fanning combination with Watersmeet winning the Marathon event.