Circumvent, from Paul Cole’s Whatcombe stables, near Wantage, ran a cracker to take third behind Premio Loco in the Blue Square Winter Derby at Lingfield on Saturday.
Jimmy Fortune gave Cole’s five-year-old a terrific ride, overcoming a wide draw with a fast break, before taking up the running before the furlong pole.
However, the 16-1 shot was unable to hold off Premio Loco, and had to settle for minor honours as Cai Shen snatched second in the last strides.
Premio Loco was resolving some unfinished business after being beaten a nose by Scintillo in the 2009 renewal when jockey George Baker was forced to take a very wide route.
Trainer Chris Wall said: “It was a concern going a mile and a quarter first-time-out, but he had been going well at home and they went a steady pace.
“What we do now depends on the ground a bit. As he’s got older he has developed a real aversion to slow ground.
“We could think of the Earl of Sefton at Newmarket over nine furlongs or failing that the Sandown Mile at the end of April.”