Tenebrism produced a brilliant performance in coming from virtually last to first to win the Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket.
Aidan O’Brien’s charge had just one previous run under her belt, winning a Naas maiden back in March, but she shrugged off her 181-day absence in some style with a power-packed finished.
Flotus led them up the stands side in the six-furlong contest, setting a sound pace in front as Ryan Moore was out the back on 14-1 shot Tenebrism.
It looked as though Simon and Ed Crisford’s Flotus had the measure of her rivals with a furlong to run, as favourite Sacred Bridge and her main market rivals Sandrine and Zain Claudette were all making little impact on the leader.
However, Tenebrism was responding in kind for Moore and found an extra gear to sweep by Flotus and win going away by a length.
Sandrine kept on for third, beaten a further three lengths in the Group One heat.
Tenebrism, who boasts an exceptional pedigree as a daughter of Caravaggio out of top miler Immortal Verse, is 8-1 for the 1000 Guineas with both Betfair and Coral.
O’Brien said: “I didn’t think it was possible for her to do that, not because of ability but because of the lay-off she’d had.
“She had a setback after the last day and was off for a long time. She was just literally ready to come racing and I had a knot in my stomach whether it was fair to be running her or not.
“But there is only one Cheveley Park and you don’t get horses with the speed and the turn of foot she has very often. That’s why she’s here really.
“Her dad had a terribly good turn of speed as well and that’s what she has. I said to Ryan ‘just get her to relax and find herself and see what’s going to happen’.
“She did the very same thing in her maiden – it’s a rare thing when you see them able to quicken like that.
“How far would she stay is the next thing. I had her entered over seven furlongs at the weekend and usually if they get seven they might get a mile.
“Wherever she is, you’ll be riding her for speed. You have to train her now as a Guineas filly and you can come back in trip any time.”
He added: “I would say if she’s going to go again this year it will be in America. The lads will decide if they want to go to the Breeders’ Cup. It will depend how she comes out of today.
“For next year, to go travelling (now) would be a great experience. I’d say if she comes out of it well and the lads want to do it, we’d be delighted to go – it’s definitely something we’d have to think about.”
Of the gallant runner-up, Ed Crisford said: “I thought there was nothing coming out of the pack to catch her, and then you just saw Aidan’s filly coming and I thought ‘oh, no!’.
“She ran a huge race and showed what we’ve been seeing at home. She’s a proper filly.
“We’ll see how she is. There’s not that many options left this year. Whether we go to America or not, I’m not sure.
“She’s definitely got the size and scope to make a three-year-old, which is exciting.”