Ed Crisford was delighted to see Without A Fight score his class on the Sky Bet Race To The Ebor Grand Cup Stakes in York.
The five-year-old won in handicap and listed company in the fall and kicked off his 2022 campaign by finishing second to last week’s Coronation Cup hero Hukum at Meydan.
He then failed to land a decisive blow in the Dubai Sheema Classic on World Cup night, but made a pleasant return to British soil when third in group three Al Rayyan Stakes at Newbury on last month.
Rising in trip but losing in class for this one mile six furlong Listed contest, Without A Fight was dispatched to their wat at 4/1 at the hands of Andrea Atzeni as they conceded 3lbs in each of their five rivals.
The five-year-old never strayed too far from the pace set by Kemari and slammed hard to win by a length and three-quarters from John Leeper, who finished strong.
Crisford, who trains Without A Fight in partnership with his father, Simon, said: “It was a great race and he did it really well.
“They went so slow at first and nobody really wanted to go forward, but once he got the rhythm he settled in well and showed his class today, winning with the penalty .
“He got away really fast and hit the line really well. Now that he’s gained over a mile and three quarters, that opens up a few more options, so we’ll see.
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Sponsors Sky Bet introduced Without A Fight at 12/1 to their market for Ebor in York in August, but Crisford is in no rush to deliver on his plans.
He added: “I think he would be the highest weight in the Ebor, so we’ll just have to see where we go.
“There are no immediate plans. We will just have to sit down with Sheikh Mohammed Obaid.
“He would have a lot of weight in the Ebor, but obviously that’s an option. There will be a lot of options for him in the future and hopefully we have a fun year with him.
Sky Bet spokesman Michael Shinners said: “Without A Fight has been a very impressive winner of the Sky Bet Grand Cup and if he shows up for the Ebor he would be very interesting.
“We went 12/1 first show and at 16 it was John Leeper who caught the eye by staying late.”