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Brave Hero makes an impression on Lingfield debut

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Brave Hero saw his name enter the market for next year's Investec Derby after making an impressive winning debut in a new course-record time in the second division of the 32Red/Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden Stakes at Lingfield.

Brave Hero saw his name enter the market for next year's Investec Derby after making an impressive winning debut in a new course-record time in the second division of the 32Red/Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden Stakes at Lingfield.

While talk of an outing in the Epsom showpiece in June may seem premature at this stage, the Saeed bin Suroor-trained two-year-old passed his first test with flying colours, in the manner of a horse on an upward trajectory.

Placed just off a fast gallop set by the aggressively-ridden Severeni, the 5-2 joint-favourite used his giant stride to good effect to breeze past the Richard Hughes-trained pacesetter just outside the final furlong.

Needing only to be shaken up with hands and heels by James Doyle, the son of Poet's Voice crossed the line in the mile contest with four and a half lengths to spare in a two-year-old best of 1 minute 35.84 seconds, breaking the previous mark of 1.36.33 set by Yarroom in 2012 by nearly half a second.

Following the race, which completed a double for the winning jockey and trainer, Brave Hero was introduced at 50-1 for the Derby by Paddy Power.

James Ferguson, Godolphin racing assistant, said: "Brave Hero looked very nice at home. If you look at him he is still very big and he needs to fill into his frame. He would have learnt an awful lot today.

"He will stay in Newmarket and probably be put away now for the winter and come back for the turf season. It's nice to get this out of the way early doors.

"When he crossed the line he looked like he wanted to go round again so he definitely looks like he will stay further. He is a very exciting horse."

The opening division also went the way of Godolphin, with Doyle and Bin Suroor teaming up to strike with fellow newcomer Next Stage.

In similar fashion to the victory of Brave Hero, the Dubawi colt was settled in behind early leader and odds-on favourite Always Welcome before striking late on.

After moving to the front in stylish fashion, the 2-1 shot only required being pushed out to score by a length and three-quarters.

Ferguson said: "We had a lot of confidence with Next Stage going into the race as he had been working well at home.

"It was nice to come alongside a fancied one like that (Always Welcome) knowing that you are going to beat it.

"Like Brave Hero he probably won't run until the turf season. I think we would stay at a mile for the time being with him.

"It's pleasing that both won first time out as they both look pretty smart horses."