Mount Kilimanjaro is on the upgrade and can leave his rivals with a mountain to climb in the WBX.com Henry II Stakes, the feature event at Sandown tonight.
John Dunlop's four-year-old has only had four starts in his career to date so there is any amount of improvement to come from the son of champion sire Sadler's Wells.
After finishing sixth behind unlucky Derby fourth Hala Bek on his racecourse bow at Newbury, Mount Kilimanjaro broke his maiden at the second time of asking at Chepstow - with champion juvenile hurdler Katchit well in arrears. He then took a massive hike in class to contest the Queen's Vase at Royal Ascot over two miles.
Not surprisingly, that proved a little too much for him and he never landed a blow. But on his first start this season he looked a completely different animal.
Competing in a Listed race over a mile and three-quarters, he was sent off a relatively unconsidered 20-1 chance at Nottingham in the Further Flight Stakes. But Dunlop's charge came with a withering run down the outside under Jimmy Fortune to wear down The Last Drop close to home. Also in behind was Jamie Osborne's Geordieland, who ran a blinder behind Sergeant Cecil in the Yorkshire Cup.
One disappointing effort at the Curragh apart, Charlie Farnsbarns proved a more-than-useful performer as a two-year-old. Brian Meehan's Cape Cross colt won twice last term - over six furlongs at Newmarket and seven at Ascot - and got within five lengths of the smart Halicarnassus in the Superlative Stakes at Newmarket. He saved the best until last, however, when second in the Racing Post Trophy at Newbury to Derby favourite Authorized last October.
Meehan has chosen a much less testing race for his seasonal reappearance and the Listed Bet Now At wbx.com Heron Stakes should be his for the taking on his way to better things.
Penang Cinta carries a 6lb penalty in the Letheby & Christopher Handicap at Chepstow tomorrow but - after a bad start - he is in such good form he can be taken to score again.