Perfect Power finished with a flourish to claim top honours in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.
A dual Group One winner over six furlongs last term, Richard Fahey’s stable star won the Greenham over seven on his reappearance, which prompted connections to have a crack at the 2000 Guineas.
Having seemingly had his stamina limitations exposed on the Rowley Mile, the Ardad colt reverted to six furlongs in Berkshire and galloped home on the far side of the track under a power-packed ride from Christophe Soumillon to oblige as a 7-2 joint-favourite.
Flaming Rib and Flotus finished second and third respectively.
Fahey said: “We hoped this lad would stay but he’s definitely happier back sprinting. He’s a great doer and an absolute pleasure to train. You can switch him on and off.
“Christophe doesn’t need any instructions. He loves him and so do I. I think we will stay sprinting with him and probably head for the Prix Maurice de Gheest over six and a half furlongs at Deauville.
“I was further back than I wanted, but Christophe Soumillon is the man.
“It’s fantastic. When you have a great belief in a horse and he doesn’t let you down – it’s fantastic.
“When you’re a small trainer from the north of England, you need Group One horses. He has won three Group Ones now, it will be four soon. He is a special horse.”
Soumillon said: “It’s great. I think the track was a bit fast for him and, with that draw, I didn’t have any chance but to sit back. When I looked around at the two-furlong marker, I saw I had seven lengths to make up. I thought that was a bit far, but in the race before I saw Ryan Moore took the same line and the track was looking good there.
“I’m sure he can be much better on softer ground, so it is good news.
“That is the greatness of a top trainer. We tried to give him more stamina for the 2000 Guineas, and you have to try. Now we know he is a top sprinter. He is a great horse. He has such a big heart and when I came by, I wasn’t sure if he would quicken again and then the last 150 yards he showed another turn of foot.
“It’s great. Perfect Power was the best two-year-old I have ridden in terms of speed and, now at three, he is still giving a great performance. I hope this is just his first Group One of the season and I’m sure if he went to Deauville for the Prix Maurice De Gheest, that would be his race and then maybe at the end of the season we go seven, but the trainer knows more than me.”
He went on: “It is very special, that is why you have to be very humble when you come over here as it is the toughest place to win races. When you have the chance to ride a great horse for great owners and a great trainer, you have to put it all together.
“When you ride a horse that gives such big feelings when he accelerates, you want to keep on him all the time. Hopefully I’d like to be available all the time to ride him. For me, it is a proudness and to win here today is amazing.”
Hugo Palmer said of Flaming Rib: “I was nervous about the ground, and James (Doyle) actually said he’ll improve again on better ground.
“He did a piece of work last week which, the horse has never worked badly the whole time, but his work last week was pretty wow stuff, and he beat a horse who is rated considerably higher than him, and did it impressively, and I thought there was just a chance we would have improved a lot today.
“Being second – you’re the first loser; it’s never where you want to be, but I’m very proud of what he’s done.”
Ed Crisford, joint-trainer, said of Flotus: “I was delighted with that – obviously she bounced back to her Cheveley Park form. She’s been a bit unlucky this year, with the stalls at Newmarket, and ran a great race at Haydock, but to see her run like that was fantastic. I’m so pleased.
“We’ll see what there is. I don’t think she even has a Listed penalty now, because she won before August, so we’ve got all options and we’ll see where she is. We’ll pick and choose for her – we’ve got lots of options.”