Royal Scotsman steamed into the Coventry Stakes picture with a slick five-length success in the William Hill Acca Club/British EBF Novice Stakes at Goodwood.
The Paul and Oliver Cole-trained son of Gleneagles finished sixth lengths behind Noble Style when fourth of eight on his debut at Ascot, but put that form well behind him with a scintillating effort, barely coming off the bridle under Jim Crowley.
The 100-30 chance broke well and was always close to the pace-setting Kaasib, easing to the front two furlongs out and lengthening in a matter of strides.
Bluelight Bay stuck on for second, with Mischief Magic doing his best work late a further length and a quarter back in third.
Oliver Cole said: “He never seemed to finish the race off at Ascot, but obviously he did there. I think he has sharpened up for the race and is clearly a good horse and the options and the future is bright.
“The Coventry is definitely something to think about now. Jim got off of him and said that the Coventry could be a good target, so we will have to think about that.
“By Gleaneagles, his progeny all seem to like a bit of cut so the rain has helped. He will get further. Six (furlongs) is good and he might get a mile-plus. He clearly has a lot of quality.”
Lawful Command showed plenty of tenacity to fight back and defeat Spinaround in the Goodwood Racecourse Patrons Handicap under a fine ride from Louis Steward.
Up 3lb for a neck course and distance win, the Brian Meehan-trained three-year-old is clearly on the upgrade, having taken his winning spree to four of his last five following his half-length victory.
Sent off at 9-2, he made much of the running before being headed inside the final furlong, yet fought back in style.
The Churchill gelding is part-owned by Stan Threadwell, whose family business is in amusement arcades and pleasure piers on the east coast. His colours were famously carried to glory in the 1986 Japan Cup by Jupiter Island.
Threadwell’s father, also called Stan, was a former amateur jockey and his nephew rode the winner.
Meehan said: “We will just keep it simple and take it step by step – that’s why we thought it sensible to come here.
“We will take him nice and gently. Looking at the way he ran today, he is going to keep improving. He is just that type of horse. He handles the slow ground better than some of the others, but last time he won here it was quick and he handled it really well.
“He always rallies and I thought Louis gave him a confident ride. It was a great ride.”
He added: “Dennis Simmonds part-owns him and is a great old friend of Stan’s. I know he’d love to run him at Newmarket and there is a nice race in July. We will think about it. We’ll look at Ascot, but we’ll wait and see.”
With Sense Of Duty scoring at Haydock, William Haggas completed a quick across-the-card treble as the well-handicapped Montassib followed Sea Silk Road into the winner’s enclosure at the West Sussex track after victory in the William Hill Pick Your Places Handicap.
Marquand’s mount (7-4 favourite) was completing a hat-trick and remained unbeaten after wearing down Marshal Dan to score by two and a half lengths.
Haggas said: “I was certain he would not to cope with the ground and told everyone he wouldn’t like it, as most Exceed And Excel’s don’t like it at all. He coped with it and won nicely.
“I don’t know where he will go, but I suppose the seven-furlong race at Royal Ascot (Buckingham Palace Stakes) will come under consideration.”
Crystal Estrella finished behind Oaks favourite Emily Upjohn at Sandown on her last run and she gave a further boost to the winner’s Classic aspirations with a cosy four-and-a-half-length success in the British European Breeders’ Fund EBF Fillies’ Restricted Novice Stakes.
The daughter of Iffraaj is bred for further, although William Buick, winning rider aboard the Sir Michael Stoute-trained 15-8 favourite, feels the 10-furlong trip she won over will be ideal for the time being.
Buick said: “She liked that soft ground today – you don’t really know until you try it. But that was pleasing. She has really come on for her Sandown run and that was a pleasing performance. It did look a winnable race on paper, but she did it well.
“I think she will get further in time, but for now this is her trip.
“It is too early to say if she is a black-type filly. She needs to progress further, but I see no reason why she shouldn’t.”
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