Master Of The Seas got the better of stablemate La Barrosa as Godolphin dominated the finish to the bet365 Craven Stakes at Newmarket.
Master Of The Seas had looked every inch a top-class colt in the making when winning the Superlative Stakes on the July Course last summer, and while he could only finish fourth stepped up to Group One level for the National Stakes in Ireland he again showed his ability there.
Although beaten at odds-on by fellow Charlie Appleby-trained colt Naval Crown at Meydan in February, the son of Dubawi was the 11-4 favourite to recoup those losses on the Rowley Mile and ultimately got the job done in pleasing fashion.
Sporting a hood for the first time, Master Of The Seas was keen during the early stages before settling into a rhythm.
His supporters will have been sweating at the halfway stage, with the market leader seemingly stuck behind a wall of horses – but once switched wide for racing room, William Buick’s mount quickly found top gear to run down La Barrosa and score by three-quarters of a length.
Coral cut Master Of The Seas to 12-1 from 16-1 for next month’s Qipco 2000 Guineas.
Appleby said: “I’ll be honest, it wasn’t quite how we planned it as the plan was for La Barrosa to pop out and set a nice gallop and maybe come up the middle to give everyone racing room, but it didn’t materialise.
“He ended up just over-racing, but he was a bit fresh as well. I was pleased with how he ran.
“Master Of The Seas was the class act in the race, I was never disappointed with him in Meydan as our eyes were on a European campaign.
“William had to ask him a few questions there, he had to go through the gears going into the dip which is hard for horses, but he’s very well balanced. He picked up well and went through the line strong.
“It was very pleasing by the pair of them. The hood helped Master Of The Seas settle and we’ll probably keep it on for the Guineas.
“I’ve been very pleased with One Ruler’s prep as well so it’s a nice position to be in to have two or three nice chances for the Guineas.”
He added: “We’ll see how this horse comes out of this race before William decides who to ride, but it might be hard to get off a Craven winner, he’s probably achieved more and has match fitness on his side. The Craven is a fantastic trial. We’ll chunter away and try to come up with the right horses.
“France for La Barrosa might come into it, we’ll just have to see. That was quick ground today, but they didn’t mind it.
“As that was La Barrosa’s first run of the season he’s entitled to come forward. Whether they’ll get closer, I don’t mind as long as one is in front.
“Master Of The Seas is speedier than One Ruler, he’s a bigger, scopier type. I think 10 furlongs will be his trip in time. I have been delighted with One Ruler’s prep though, and didn’t feel the need to run him in a trial.”