Creative Force looks a sprinter on the up after blitzing his rivals in the BetVictor Carnarvon Stakes at Newbury.
Charlie Appleby’s three-year-old, who is gelded so will be unable to run in the Commonwealth Cup, came from last to first under James Doyle to beat Spycatcher by a comfortable three lengths.
Sent off a 9-4 chance, he has now won four of his five races, with his sole defeat in the Coventry Stakes last year.
“He’s a progressive little horse,” said Appleby from Newmarket.
“The way he’s hitting the line over six the option could be there to step up to seven furlongs and he could be a Jersey horse, but I haven’t had chance to speak to James yet.
“Unfortunately he doesn’t qualify for the Commonwealth, but the Jersey could be a possibility. If not we’ll step him up to Group company over six. He settles, so he gives himself a chance.
“He’s a fun little horse to have around at the moment. Who knows, if he hadn’t been gelded he might not be doing what he’s doing now. He’s there to be a racehorse and that’s what he’s doing now.
“When these sprinters get on a roll you don’t know when they’ll plateau out. Thankfully he’s on an upward curve.”
Few in the weighing room are riding better than former champion Ryan Moore this season – and he again showed how difficult he is to beat in a finish when Dukebox (8-1) prevailed in a photo to the BetVictor Conditions Stakes.
Richard Hannon used the same race as a stepping stone to Royal Ascot in 2016 for Mehmas, who went on to be second on the Coventry before winning the July Stakes and the Richmond at Goodwood.
Dukebox had won on debut at Kempton, but the market favoured stablemate Al Shibli, who went off the 7-4 favourite.
Oisin Murphy appeared to have done everything right on Dairerin, who hit the front deep inside the final furlong, but Moore would not be denied and got the verdict by a nose.
“This lad is out of Broadway Duchess who we also trained, I own a quarter along with Christopher Powell who unfortunately lost his wife (Jenny) six months ago and this is when you find out horses give you something money can’t buy,” said Hannon.
“He’ll go to the Coventry and I’ve put him in the Railway Stakes as well. He won today like he won his first race, he never looked like he’d win either.
“They went pretty quick, Ryan said it felt like the Abbaye. It’s always the sign of a good horse when they only just do enough.
“The other horse is nice and when he gets some fast ground he’ll win.”
The BetVictor London Gold Cup Handicap is usually one of the hottest handicaps of the season, with the winner known to go on to Group-race glory.
While this year’s renewal looked to lack the strength in depth of previous runnings, the winner looks well up to scratch.
Well-backed, Sir Michael Stoute’s Bay Bridge went off the 11-4 favourite and Moore always looked to have matters under control, coming four lengths clear.
The Haras de Bouquetot Fillies’ Trial Stakes saw one or two lofty reputations dented – but at the same an equally promising winner, as Eshaada (18-1) stayed unbeaten for Roger Varian in the hands of Jim Crowley.
Her trainer will look towards the Ribblesdale Stakes at the Royal fixture next.