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Save A Forest makes no mistake at Newmarket

Save A Forest took advantage of a sizeable drop in class to win the British Stallion Studs EBF Chalice Stakes at Newmarket.

Fourth behind Snowfall in the Oaks at Epsom, albeit beaten 19 lengths, Save A Forest was sent off at 13-2 in the Listed contest.

It looked a wide-open affair on paper with Derby winner Masar’s half-sister Sayyida and Frankel’s sister Chiasma in the field, as the Classic generation took on their elders.

Roger Varian had reached for first-time cheekpieces on Save A Forest and they clearly made a difference.

Sayyida and James Doyle hit the front a furlong out, taking over from Portfolio, but Callum Shepherd timed his challenge perfectly.

The pair drifted over to the fair rail, and Save A Forest dug in gamely to beat the 13-8 favourite by half a length. Portfolio stayed on again for third, a further neck away.

Tim Gredley, who owns the filly with his father, Bill, said: “We are kind of ready at the start now as we know she is sleepy and that is why we put the cheekpieces on.

“Callum knows how to ride her and she just keeps on going and going. I wasn’t worried as I was expecting her to be like that at the start.

“I said it the other day kind of flippantly, but she does remind of Big Orange as she has got that kind of gameness about her.

“She physically looks like him, but her running style is very different. She is just very hardy and relentless the way she gallops.

“She started on the all-weather and she was very weak back then, but we thought she would get better once we went on.”

An immediate return to Group One company could be on the cards for Save A Forest, who holds entries in both the Darley Yorkshire Oaks at York on August 19 and the Cazoo St Leger at Doncaster on September 11.

Gredley went on: “We like to swing the bat at big races, but will speak to Roger. However, she is not ground dependent.

“We will have a look at what is about. If anything she will be going up in trip as I think she needs a bit further to see her at her best.

“She will be around next season as well. She is here to race and we will enjoy her.

“Honestly I think she will be better next year once she has had a break and muscled up a bit. She is winning these races off guts and grit at the moment.”

As for runner-up Sayyida, her trainer Charlie Appleby is considering sending the daughter of Dubawi over to France on her next start.

He said: “It is her first time in a black0type race and she has gone and run a credible race.

“We know the winner is well thought of having finished fourth in an Oaks. Running up in second behind her we are pleased.

“It is a step in the right direction and she is now a black-type placed filly. I’d be confident she will be up to winning a race like this.

“James (Doyle) said she will be better with more juice in the ground so we will probably venture to France now and see if we can do some pot hunting there.”

Save A Forest hoping to sample Chalice glory

Cazoo Oaks fourth Save A Forest has her sights lowered in the British Stallion Studs EBF Chalice Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday.

Successful on her first two starts of the season at Wolverhampton and Windsor, Roger Varian’s filly was only narrowly denied her hat-trick in the Lingfield Oaks Trial – earning herself a shot at Classic glory.

While ultimately unable to land a blow at Epsom, Save A Forest was not disgraced behind the brilliant winner Snowfall and drops to Listed class for this weekend’s feature event on the July Course.

Varian said: “Save A Forest is a lovely filly who has improved with every start. She comes out well at the weights on Saturday and looks to have a decent chance.

“Her run in the Oaks was very good. There should be more to come from her in the second half of the summer into the autumn and hopefully the Chalice Stakes can be a good springboard into those backend races.

“She is a little lazy with her way of running so we have put the cheekpieces on to help her travel better in the early part of her races. There is no questioning her attitude at the end of a race – she is very game.

“She is very laid-back in the mornings and you wouldn’t know she was there, but it is about the afternoons and not the mornings and she produces in the afternoon.

“She is a filly who is thriving physically and at this time of year that is a good thing.”

Ralph Beckett’s unbeaten filly Yesyes and Frankel’s full-sister Chiasma, trained by John and Thady Gosden, both carry the colours of the late Khalid Abdullah’s Juddmonte team.

Thady Gosden said: “It’s a good renewal of the race and some of the fillies in there have got some strong form by their names.

“Chiasma won last time out, which was important for her and for Juddmonte. Now we hope to get some black type next to her name with a pedigree like hers.

“She was beaten by a smart filly on soft ground at Goodwood over a mile and a quarter and she showed improvement for the step up to a mile and a half last time.

“If the ground is faster it won’t be a worry, although it is due to rain and she has already run on soft ground. She shows a great attitude at home and enjoys her work.”

Beckett expects the track to suit Haydock and Lingfield scorer Yesyes.

“She has had a lovely introduction to her career on the racecourse, winning both of her starts,” said the trainer.

“The mile and a half on the July Course should suit her really well, particularly as they have a drop of rain forecast. Her first run has been given a boost and it is lovely form.

“We’ve had to be patient with her as she was slow to come to hand. Last year she was a big filly and was simply not ready to race.”

Charlie Appleby is confident Sayyida can put her assured stamina to good use, after victories on the Rowley Mile and most recently over course and distance.

He said: “She goes into the race on the back of a couple of nice wins there, including over course and distance last time out.

“We will be slightly on weather watch as we would like a bit of rain as it was quick enough there on her last start.

“It is her first chance to step up into black-type company. We are pleased with her preparation and the one thing she does is stay well.”

Andrew Balding is another hoping plenty of rain arrives at the track to allow Italian Oaks fifth Invite to make a positive impact on her stable debut.

“She is new to us but she ran a good race in the Italian Oaks. She really needs the rain to come to be seen at her best and participate,” said Balding.

“We’ve not had her long but she seems settled and relaxed. I hope she would stay this trip as she has shaped like a stayer in her previous runs, from what I’ve seen.”

Golden not for passing at Newmarket

Golden Pass gave a game front-running performance to take Listed honours in the Ric And Mary Hambro Aphrodite Fillies’ Stakes at Newmarket.

The Hugo Palmer-trained four-year-old battled on bravely for James Doyle to hold the persistent challenge of Free Wind by three-quarters of a length. Abstinence was a length away in third place.

Victory provided handsome compensation for the 2-1 favourite following a head defeat in a similar contest at Pontefract four weeks ago.

“She was beautifully ridden. She has been an immature filly who has been very delicate,” said Palmer.

“Every time we have run her she would fall in a heap and have to have 10 days in a field, that is why it has endlessly been six weeks or six months between races.

“Today was the first day where one race had made her stronger for the next. We will just have to see if today makes her stronger for the next race. 

“She goes on most ground and is unbelievably genuine, as you can see. She wasn’t doing a tap in front and was almost willing for them to take her on through the last few furlongs. 

“She just got collared late home at Pontefract and she didn’t have the chance to fight back, but she had all the time in the world today to fight back and she got back.”

Golden Pass could step up to Group Two company for the Qatar Lillie Langtry Stakes at Goodwood on July 31.

“The Lillie Langtry is two weeks away today which she is entered in. It is an obvious target and we have the next 12 days before we have to make a decision. We are going to have to see which way we go,” the Newmarket handler added.

“I’m sure she will get the extra two furlongs there and who knows, she could be a Cup horse next season. That is if she stays in training, as she is owned by an owner/breeder (Dr Ali Ridha) who is accumulating a beautiful broodmare band.”

Eve Johnson Houghton with Accidental Agent after his finest hour at Royal Ascot
Eve Johnson Houghton with Accidental Agent after his finest hour at Royal Ascot (John Walton/PA)

There was a popular winner elsewhere on the card, as Accidental Agent recorded his first victory since the 2018 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Eve Johnson Houghton’s stable stalwart finished with a flourish to land the Fine Watch Handicap.

Johnson Houghton said of the 12-1 winner: “It’s brought a tear to everybody’s eye in the whole of the yard. I’m made up for him.

“I didn’t think they were going fast enough, but Georgia (Dobie) gave him a brilliant ride. I told her to ride him with a smile on her face and enjoy riding a horse like him and it has translated into the reins.

“I thought he would be competitive, but I thought he might need another to come down a little bit more to be in the right place.

“It is just great to see him win again.”

Baaeed may wait for Celebration Mile

The Celebration Mile and Prix Jacques le Marois are among the options under consideration for the hugely exciting Baaeed.

In the space of just over a month, the William Haggas-trained three-year-old has made a winning debut at Leicester, dominated his rivals in a Newmarket novice event and returned to the July Course to slam talented colts like Maximal and One Ruler in Listed company last week.

While an outing at Glorious Goodwood in the Group Three Thoroughbred Stakes is not being ruled out, the Sea The Stars colt appears likely to given more time to recover from his recent exertions before being stepped up in class again.

Angus Gold, racing manager for owners Shadwell Estate, said: “I think Baaeed is a very good horse, hopefully.

“I haven’t discussed it any further with William as yet, but I think Goodwood is going to come too soon.

“He’s had three races in relatively quick succession – he’s gone from winning a maiden a month ago to suddenly being an impressive Listed winner in a short space of time.

“There’s the Celebration Mile at Goodwood at the end of August, or if he (Haggas) wanted to go a step further there’s the Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville, but all the same problems apply in terms of getting to France these days.

“I’m waiting to have a chat with William once he’s had a good look at the horse and see what he thinks. He might turn round and say ‘he looks fine, let’s go to Goodwood’. He was talking about the Group Three race over a mile (Thoroughbred Stakes).

“However, he did say he didn’t want to overdo it because the horse is in a great place at the moment. He might be the best three-year-old we have in training, so we’ve got to do the right thing by him.”

Baaeed is one of several promising three-year-olds for the Shadwell team.

Mandoob (right) winning at Lingfield
Mandoob (right) winning at Lingfield (John Walton/PA)

Brian Meehan’s Mandoob ran with plenty of credit when runner-up in last week’s Bahrain Trophy at Newmarket, while the Haggas-trained Royal Ascot winner Mohaafeth is bound for the Sky Bet York Stakes on Saturday week.

Moshaawer, meanwhile – who is trained by Roger Varian and recently impressed in a minor event at Doncaster – is viewed as a possible St Leger candidate.

“Mandoob ran very well and is a very nice horse,” said Gold.

“He’s never been a great mover in slower paces, so Brian has to be careful with him – he’s not a horse we can run every day of the week and on fast ground.

“We’ll space his races out and look for the best opportunity somewhere on a nice track. It’s early days in his career, but he’s got plenty of talent and he’s one to look forward to if we can keep him in one piece.

“Mohaafeth is heading for York, all being well. He worked on Tuesday morning and looks in good shape.

“These things are never easy. But the ideal scenario would be he wins next time, and then we can look at the Juddmonte International.

“I think Moshaawer is an improving horse – we always hoped he was going to be. He’s had niggling problems with a stress fracture and things, and he is a work in progress.

“Is he going to make up into a Leger horse? I think the idea was to give him another run at the end of this month, and if he was going to win that then you could look at the Great Voltigeur at York and we could see if he’s got the class to be a Leger horse or not.

“I think he will make a nice staying horse next year.”

William Jarvis eyeing Nassau redemption for Lady Bowthorpe

William Jarvis hopes his stable star Lady Bowthorpe will “get her day in the sun” before the end of the season following her fast-finishing effort in the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket.

Winner of the Group Two Dahlia Stakes on her seasonal reappearance, the daughter of Nathaniel went on to fill the runner-up spot in both the Lockinge at Newbury and the Duke of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Lady Bowthorpe charged home from an unpromising position to be beaten just a length into fourth place in Friday’s Group One feature on the July course, leaving Jarvis eyeing another tilt at Group One glory in the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood on July 29.

“She’s come out of the race fine and I’m very happy with her,” said the Newmarket handler.

“I thought she was the best horse in the race. It will probably be the Nassau next, but nothing is set in stone.

“She’s a very smart filly and is still progressing. Hopefully she’ll get her day in the sun.”

Al Aasy set to be gelded and misses King George

Al Aasy is set to miss the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes and undergo a gelding operation after being narrowly beaten for the second time in succession at Newmarket last week.

The son of Sea The Stars looked destined for the top after registering back-to-back Group Three victories at Newbury in the spring and was a hot favourite to make a successful Group One debut in the Coronation Cup at Epsom.

But after travelling smoothly into contention, Al Aasy was outbattled by the admirable Pyledriver, and was again beaten a neck by Sir Ron Priestley when odds-on for Newmarket’s Princess of Wales’s Stakes.

Angus Gold, racing manager for owners Shadwell Estate, feels the time has come to take drastic action.

He said: “Al Aasy had every chance to go and win the race last week and you’ve got to take the rough with the smooth.

“We’re going to give him a bit of a break and we’re probably going to geld him. We know he handles soft ground, so we’ll give him a few weeks off and then bring him back in the autumn. The King George is definitely out.

“He’s got plenty of talent, he’s just a bit of a thug. Going out on the track, he makes it difficult for whoever is on board.”

Once Al Aasy has been gelded and enjoyed a mid-season break, he could be prepared for international targets.

Al Aasy (left) and Pyledriver fight out the finish to the Coronation Cup
Al Aasy (left) and Pyledriver fight out the finish to the Coronation Cup (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

“Of course we could keep him entire and hope that he’s going to make a stallion somewhere in due course, but it’s more important for Sheikha Hissa and her family to have these horses to race now,” Gold added.

“This horse could win a lot of money in Dubai or Australia or wherever. We’ve had discussions about it and it’s more his attitude and general demeanour before a race (that is a problem).

“I wasn’t there last week, but William said he got pretty colty beforehand again, so let’s just take the guessing out of the equation.

“We’re going to send him out to the stud for three weeks to freshen him up, so I think it will be September before he runs again.”

Oxted to undergo thorough check after July Cup third

Roger Teal is to have Oxted “checked out” after finishing a gallant third when defending his crown in Saturday’s Darley July Cup.

Fresh from doubling his Group One tally in the King’s Stand at Royal Ascot, the five-year-old had to make do with minor honours at Newmarket after hanging badly right in the closing stages, while he was also found to be suffering from mild heat stress post-race.

It is testament to Oxted’s ability he was still only beaten just over a length by the Ed Walker-trained winner Starman, but Teal was left wondering what might have been.

He said: “He seems absolutely fine, but we’re going to have him checked out because we don’t know why he hung across the track. We’ll have the vet look at him and see if there’s anything untoward.

“He got a little bit hot after the race. It was a stifling day and we had to get some cold water on him afterwards as his body was a bit over-heated. There were a couple in the race the same afterwards.

“He’s never hung across the track like that before, so we’ll monitor him over the next few days and see if anything comes to light.”

Assuming Oxted is given a clean bill of health, next on his agenda is the Betfair Sprint Cup at Haydock on September 4.

Roger Teal (top hat) with Oxted at Royal Ascot
Roger Teal (top hat) with Oxted at Royal Ascot (David Davies/PA)

“He still ran a huge race on Saturday. He lost a lot of ground hanging across like he did, so if he’d stayed straight it would have been interesting,” Teal added.

“It was a quality field – it was very scary to keep looking at it – but he’s run an absolute stormer and we couldn’t be more proud of him.

“We’re sort of running out of options now, so the Sprint Cup at Haydock would be his next target if all is well.”

Motakhayyel bounds to Bunbury victory

Motakhayyel looked the proverbial Group horse in a handicap when landing back-to-back victories in the bet365 Bunbury Cup at Newmarket.

Already a dual winner on the July Course for trainer Richard Hannon – including in this race 12 months ago – the Shadwell Estate-owned five-year-old was a well-backed 11-2 chance to land the £100,000 contest for a second time in the hands of Frankie Dettori.

Stepping down in class after finishing second in the Group Three Criterion Stakes over the course and distance last month, Motakhayyel travelled like a dream before bounding three and a half lengths clear, with Fundamental best of the rest in second.

Hannon said: “He’s a gentleman of a horse and has been for years. He’s such a pleasure to have around.

“He’s struggled between a rock and a hard place in handicaps and Listed races. He ran a very good race here in the Criterion and I watched the race today on the same TV I watched it on last year.

“He’s in the mile race at Goodwood and we’ll speak to Angus (Gold) and Richard (Hills) and see what they want to do.”

Frankie Dettori with trainer Richard Hannon in the Newmarket winner's enclosure
Frankie Dettori with trainer Richard Hannon in the Newmarket winner’s enclosure (Tim Goode/PA)

Dettori, riding his first winner of this year’s July Festival, said: “He took me by surprise – I still had a double handful two out and he kept finding.

“Richard told me Jim (Crowley, owners’ retained rider) was going to York and I couldn’t do the weight for John (Gosden, trainer of Fundamental). Richard told me to get on this horse as he loves Newmarket and he was right.

“I didn’t expect him to win like he did. He’s a very long horse with a long stride and I’m not sure he’d enjoy turning tracks.”

Superlative result for Appleby with Native Trail

Native Trail remained unbeaten to provide trainer Charlie Appleby with his second successive victory in Newmarket’s bet365 Superlative Stakes.

Appleby struck in the same juvenile Group Two last year with subsequent 2000 Guineas runner-up Master Of The Seas.

William Buick, the winning rider on both occasions, challenged late up the centre of the track on Native Trail – who had made a successful start to his career on his only previous start in a Sandown maiden last month.

The 11-4 shot then held on by a short head from fast-finishing runner-up Masekela – with favourite Dhabab, who had gone clear up the far side in the final furlong, hauled back to finish another length and a half behind in third.

Appleby said: “He’s a lovely horse to ride through a race as he goes through his gears smoothly. He showed that on his first start at Sandown and we saw the same today.

“I wouldn’t say I was confident we’d be winning, but the way the race was developing, I knew he’d be doing it all the right way round and would be hitting the line strong.

“He’s a breeze-up consigned horse, so he’d have had a bit of experience put to him early doors. But you wouldn’t know that, to be fair – he’s a very laid-back character.

“It was a good achievement winning today, but I do feel that when we step him up in trip, we’ll hopefully see a bit more improvement again.”

Quorto (2018) and Master Of The Seas (2020) went on to contest the Group One National Stakes at the Curragh on their next start.

When asked whether Native Trail would follow the same route, Appleby added “It’s a well-trodden path for myself – I like to go and have a crack at it over there (in Ireland).

“I think the ground would suit him. My only concern coming into today was the quick ground. He’s by Oasis Dream and they usually prefer a fast surface, but he’s a big unit and has got some big feet on him, so a little bit of ease in the ground wouldn’t do him any harm.

“We’ll look towards the National Stakes and then potentially on to the Vertem Futurity Trophy or the Lagardere.”

Hannon sweet on Ardbraccan

Richard Hannon is eyeing a return to Newmarket for next month’s Sweet Solera with Ardbraccan after she made it third time lucky in the Rossdales British EBF Maiden Fillies’ Stakes.

Down the field on her Kempton debut in early June, the daughter of Lawman raised her game to fill the runner-up spot on her second start here a fortnight ago.

She looked booked for minor honours once more after 11-8 favourite Calm Skies – who was immediately behind the Hannon runner last time out – moved smoothly into contention, but Ardbraccan knuckled down for Sean Levey to win the argument by half a length.

Hannon said: “She’s a lovely filly and always has been very classy.

“She ran very well last time and got beaten and it looked like the Godolphin filly (Calm Skies) got to her very easily there today. I thought we’d bumped into a good one.

“I’m very tempted to bring her back for the Sweet Solera (August 7) now. She’s got a lot of class and she doesn’t want too much (racing) this year as she’ll be a nice filly next year.”

Royal Fleet maintained his unbeaten record in the bet365 Mile.

Previously successful at Kempton in November and Yarmouth in April, Charlie Appleby’s charge was the 5-6 favourite to complete his hat-trick on his handicap debut.

Royal Fleet (right) completed his hat-trick
Royal Fleet (right) completed his hat-trick (Tim Goode/PA)

Just as he did at Yarmouth, Royal Fleet hung to his left and raced alone for much of the one-mile journey, but his latent ability enabled him to get the job done by half a length from Latest Generation.

“He’s a horse who has got a lot of raw talent,” said Appleby.

“Some days at home he’ll get into a rhythm and be straight as a gun barrel, but unfortunately some days he’ll lock on the bridle and grab that left side of the bit and do what he’s done today.

“William (Buick) was very impressed with him in that he’s done everything wrong and he still couldn’t pull the horse up!

“I hope that in time, with racing and experience and maturity, if we can put everything in the right format he could be a good horse.”

William Haggas and Tom Marquand combined to land the Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa Fillies’ Handicap with Spirit Of Bermuda.

The 12-1 shot followed up victory at Leicester last month with a three-quarter-length verdict over Rising Star.

“She’s a nice filly who loves fast ground. She’s a good, galloping filly,” said Haggas.

“I said to the owners that if she won today she’d be worth having a shot at a Listed race, so that’s what we’ll be doing.”

Snow Lantern delivers on everything Hannon hoped she would

Relief was the overriding emotion for Richard Hannon after Snow Lantern came of age to settle an old score in the Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket.

It is eight years since the Frankel filly’s top-class mother Sky Lantern was narrowly and controversially denied in the Group One feature.

The 1000 Guineas and Coronation Stakes heroine was impeded by first past the post Elusive Kate in 2013, but the stewards decided the interference did not affect the placings and a subsequent appeal by Sky Lantern’s connections was ultimately unsuccessful.

Given her blue-blooded pedigree, plenty was expected by Snow Lantern from the start, while Hannon has never hidden the regard in which she is held by those closest to her.

She looked ready to follow in her dam’s hoofprints when opening her account at Newbury in the spring – and although an odds-on defeat at York in the spring was a significant bump in the road, a fine effort to finish second in the Coronation last month was much more like it.

With Sean Levey in the saddle, Snow Lantern was a 6-1 shot for her latest Group One test and charged home to defeat 1000 Guineas winner Mother Earth and her Coronation conqueror Alcohol Free by half a length and a neck respectively.

“She’s shown how good she is and what she’s capable of,” said Hannon.

“I always felt this filly was not good, but extremely good. Sky Lantern was by Red Clubs and she was exceptional. This filly, I think is exceptional and she has that pedigree, too – being by Frankel out of a Classic-winning mare.

“After what happened at York, I was sort of out on a limb thinking ‘she needs to do something or you look a bit of a plonker’!

“I think she showed that at Royal Ascot on ground that probably doesn’t suit her, and then she had to come here for what I thought was a very strong race – all the nice fillies were there.”

Asked if he felt the victory gave him a sense of closure following Sky Lantern’s reverse in 2013, the trainer added: “I always did anyway – you don’t want to win in the stewards’ room.

Trainer Richard Hannon
Trainer Richard Hannon (David Davies/PA)

“Once the day is over, I think ‘do you really want to win a race like that?’. It’s done and today is great, several years on – I didn’t get the prize-money back, though!

“I’m delighted for the owners after everything that happened with the mare. She’s always created a buzz and got a big following, so it’s a great relief she’s gone and done it.

“I think I shouted today and I never shout – usually when I shout, they start to stop!

“She looked like she was going to struggle for room and if you struggle for room it is generally because you have not got the horse, but he had the horse and it is great for him.

“Sean is riding great, but a winner like this does an awful lot for him and for us.

“There’s a football match on Sunday, but I couldn’t care less.”

Celebrations for the connection of Snow Lantern
Celebrations for the connection of Snow Lantern (David Davies/Jockey Club)

Whether Hannon shouted or not, there was no stopping Sky Lantern on the July course – setting up a likely appearance at Glorious Goodwood in either the Sussex or the Nassau Stakes.

On the future, Hannon said: “We’ll sit down and have a think, but I do think she’ll get a mile and a quarter.

“She’s in the Nassau and the Sussex, so we’ll look at Goodwood and I’d probably be leaning towards the fillies’ race (Nassau).

“She’s in the Juddmonte International as well, but I’m very hopeful she’ll stay in training next year, so I’m happy to give her a nice time.

“These Group One races you need to be at your best and there are no weak ones at all. I I’m delighted to win one and not be unlucky for a change.”

Sandrine puts down Classic marker with Newmarket victory

Sandrine looked a filly right out of the top drawer when following up her Royal Ascot victory in the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes at Newmarket.

Andrew Balding’s youngster caused something of a surprise when winning the Albany Stakes at 16-1 last month on soft ground – but she was even more impressive on this occasion on a quicker surface.

In taking her career record to three from three, Sandrine was given quotes around the 16-1 mark for next year’s 1000 Guineas – with Coral making her their 14-1 favourite.

Like at Ascot ridden by David Probert, the daughter of Bobby’s Kitten raced on the far side group, tracking Ellade on Hello You.

When the field bunched up with just over a furlong to go, Sandrine quickly shot clear and put the race to bed in a matter of strides.

Desert Dreamer made up plenty of ground from the rear to chase her home, but was beaten a length and three-quarters by the 11-5 favourite. Hello You was third, having been second to the winner at Ascot.

Balding said: “That was very good. She got a little bit lonely in front, I think, but she’s got a lot of ability, which is exciting.

“She’s so relaxed, which I hope bodes well for her chances of staying a mile next year.

“She’s got physical scope – she’s not a compact, two-year-old type. She’s got a bit more length and depth to her, I think. Hopefully she’ll make up into a nice three-year-old.

“It’s good she’s proved Royal Ascot wasn’t a fluke. There was a little bit of nerves going into this as she’d looked so good at Ascot and it’s nice to see that confirmed on different going today.”

Asked about future plans for the Kirsten Rausing-owned winner, Balding said: “We’ve loosely discussed it. I don’t really want to travel her at this stage and the only Group One options are in France and Ireland.

“I think we’ll just have to sit it out, give her a little break and try to gear her up for the Cheveley Park.”

Probert said: “She had to prove herself on that quick ground today, but she travelled great, she’s got a great temperament and was in a great rhythm throughout the race.

“When we split away from the main pack, I was lucky enough to be able to follow the Ralph Beckett filly (Hello You) through into the race – and when the pace lifted, she’s done it with such ease and found many lengths.

“She hit the rising ground really well and galloped out. It took me a while to pull her up, so it’s not out of the question that she could stay further.

“She’s very exciting. I haven’t had a Group One winner in this country yet – hopefully she could be it.”

Of Desert Dreamer, trainer Stuart Williams said: “I’m very pleased with her. It was slightly unfortunate that the winner was on the other side of the track.

“If we could have followed the winner through we might have given it a better race, but the winner is a high-class filly and we are improving. I’m delighted with the filly and with Oisin’s (Murphy) ride. We live to fight another day.

“She has got a good turn of foot and she is settling very well, so I’m very pleased with her.”

He added: “I will probably head to the Lowther (at York) now, where the winner would have a penalty if she wanted to take us on again. I think that is probably the logical route.”

Noble Truth promises plenty for the future in Newmarket success

Charlie Appleby has some big-race targets in mind for Noble Truth after he got off the mark with an impressive display at Newmarket.

A promising third behind Thursday’s July Stakes winner Lusail on his racecourse debut three weeks ago, the Kingman colt was the 5-2 favourite to open his account in the in the Weatherbys Bloodstock Pro British EBF Maiden.

Having travelled smoothly in midfield for much of the seven-furlong contest, James Doyle’s mount picked up smartly in the closing stage to score by two lengths from Ehraz.

Appleby said: “That performance from Lusail yesterday gave us more confidence coming here today, not that we needed too much as we’d sort of seen it at home anyway.

“On his first run he was a bit free. He was a lot better today and travelled very well throughout the race – and when he hit the rising ground, he hit the line strong.

“We haven’t got any immediate plans with him as he has been quite head-strong, so we’re taking it race by race and just seeing which way he’s going to go.

“I think the Vintage (at Goodwood) will probably come too soon for him, but we could work back from something like the Champagne Stakes (at Doncaster). That gives him a bit of time to do all the right things, hopefully.

“I think he’ll step up to a mile in time – whether he’ll be a Vertem Futurity Trophy type horse, we’ll see.

“He’s a nice, scopey horse who hopefully has a nice future as a three-year-old.”

Dubai Honour (centre front) battles his way to a narrow victory
Dubai Honour (centre front) battles his way to a narrow victory (Tim Goode/PA)

Doyle completed a quickfire double in the following bet365 Handicap, with the William Haggas-trained Dubai Honour coming out on top in a thrilling finish.

Fourth in the Britannia Stakes at Royal Ascot, the 11-2 chance stepped up to beat Foxes Tales by a head.

“I’m thrilled. I thought it might be a bit quick after Ascot – 22 days after what was his first run of the year. He won the Britannia on his side, so he’s clearly not a bad horse,” said Haggas.

“I would like to give a mention to Laura Collett, who is going to represent us (Britain) in the Olympics. She took this horse on for about two months in the winter because we’d lost him mentally and brought him back a different horse, so I want to thank her publicly.

“That (Glorious Goodwood) looks obvious, but we’ll see.”

Live Your Dream led home a Godolphin one-two in the £75,000 bet365 Trophy.

Appleby’s Global Storm battled his way to the lead late on, but was was unable to resist the late surge of the Saeed bin Suroor-trained 7-2 favourite Live Your Dream, who came from last to first under champion jockey Oisin Murphy.

Bin Suroor said: “He has always been good. He was weak last year, but this year he has improved physically and with the trip.

“There are two races for him – maybe we’ll take him to Newbury for the Geoffrey Freer, or maybe the Ebor (at York). It is between those two races.

“He’ll be a nice one for the future in staying races and he can handle any ground.”

La Maquina (centre) and Oisin Murphy on their way to victory
La Maquina (centre) and Oisin Murphy on their way to victory (Tim Goode/PA)

Murphy doubled up aboard George Baker’s La Maquina in the Cash Out At bet365 Handicap, with the 6-1 shot edging out 4-1 favourite Aquaman by a short head.

“We could go to Bahrain. He was bouncing off this quick ground, so he could easily be one for over there, particularly this new 85-100 series,” said Baker.

“We’ll probably go to Goodwood next and then possibly Bahrain. We’ve put a few of our eggs into the basket over there and I’m excited by it.”

Twilight Calls justified 5-2 favouritism in the concluding Moet & Chandon Handicap, with his rider David Probert also enjoying a second winner on the card following the earlier success of Sandrine in the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes.

Twilight Calls (centre) struck for Henry Candy and David Probert
Twilight Calls (centre) struck for Henry Candy and David Probert (David Davies/Jockey Club)

Winning trainer Henry Candy said: “I was being a bit obstinate by not dropping back to five furlongs, but I had to accept the inevitable in the end.

“He’s got so much speed – he’s a lovely horse who is very, very quick and is the spitting image of his dad (Twilight Son).

“I haven’t thought about where we’ll go from here. We’ll stick in handicaps for the moment, but hopefully with a bit more time on his back he might be able to go a bit higher.”

Baaeed makes big impression in Sir Henry Cecil victory

Baaeed maintained his unbeaten record with a thoroughly impressive display in the Edmondson Hall Solicitors Sir Henry Cecil Stakes at Newmarket.

A full-brother to the high-class middle-distance performer Hukum, the William Haggas-trained three-year-old looked an exciting prospect when making a winning debut at Leicester – and confirmed that impression with a dominant display over this course and distance last month.

The Sea The Stars colt faced a far from straightforward task stepping up to Listed class, with St James’s Palace Stakes fourth Maximal and one-time Classic hope One Ruler among his four rivals, but he swept them aside with relative ease.

Always travelling well in the hands of Jim Crowley, the heavily-backed 10-11 favourite cruised into contention before readily extending four lengths clear, with Maximal a clear second ahead of One Ruler in third.

“He’s looking talented,” said Haggas.

“He’s got speed, and his brother is a mile-and-a-halfer, so he’s an exciting horse.

“His pedigree says he could step up to a mile and a quarter, but his style of racing doesn’t really say that. We’ll see, (but) I don’t think there’s any hurry to step him up in trip.

“I thought it was a really good Listed contest today, so to do that – come from the back and show a nice turn of foot – is a good sign.”

William Haggas has high hopes for Baaeed
William Haggas has high hopes for Baaeed (Nigel French/PA)

The Newmarket handler was non-committal regarding future plans, but a further step up in class seems certain.

Haggas added: “He’s had three quite quick races, so we’ll see.

“I don’t know where we’ll go, but I won’t miss a good entry.”

Blackrod (right) gets up to score at Newmarket
Blackrod (right) gets up to score at Newmarket (Tim Goode/PA)

Blackrod (11-1) claimed top honours in the £75,000 Each Way Extra At bet365 Handicap for Michael Dods and Silvestre de Sousa.

The three-year-old had suggested a valuable handicap could be within his compass when runner-up in a similarly competitive affair at York last month – and finished with a flourish under his Brazilian rider to get up and beat Apollo One by a neck.

Dods said: “We always thought he was a good horse, and he ran a good race at York last time. He had a nice weight on his back today (8st 4lb), and I thought Silvestre gave him a great ride.

“It’s strange, because he’s by Mayson and they usually want a bit of cut, but he seems to prefer faster ground.

“Hopefully there’s a lot to look forward to with him because he’s still raw – he’s a fair horse.”

The impeccably-bred Frankella made it third time lucky in the British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Fillies’ Stakes.

A daughter of Frankel, Andrew Balding’s juvenile is out of owner-breeder Jeff Smith’s top-class racemare Arabian Queen, who memorably inflicted a shock defeat on Derby hero Golden Horn in the 2015 Juddmonte International at York.

Frankella had not made much of an impact on her first two starts at Salisbury in June, but came good at 20-1 under Oisin Murphy – digging deep once challenged to prevail by half a length from Princess Shabnam, with 2-1 favourite Lovely Mana back in third.

Murphy said: “She has a really good pedigree, and it’s a great result for the family.

“She improved – dropping back to six furlongs on better ground. Hopefully she’ll build on this.”

Racegoers watch on as Path Of Thunder wins the finale at Newmarket
Racegoers watch on as Path Of Thunder wins the finale at Newmarket (Tim Goode/PA)

Having earlier combined to land the Bahrain Trophy with Yibir, Charlie Appleby and James Doyle doubled up with Path Of Thunder in the concluding John Deere Handicap.

The application of blinkers for the first time appeared to have the desired effect, as the 9-4 favourite improved from recent placed efforts for a three-length verdict.

Appleby said: “He’s a consistent little horse, to be fair. We’ve put some headgear on him – he’s travelled well and went to the line quite strongly in the end.

“He’s always been a Dubai-type horse, so whether we give him another run here first or pack him up for Dubai – we’ll review that next week.

“He’s off that sort of mark where he should fit the bill for out there.”

Sir Ron Priestley battles hard to repel Al Aasy

Sir Ron Priestley returned to winning ways when seeing off the persistent challenge of Al Aasy in the Princess of Wales’s Tattersalls Stakes at Newmarket.

Franny Norton set out to make all on Mark Johnston’s five-year-old, who is a half-brother to Gold Cup-winning stablemate Subjectivist.

With two furlongs to run, Sir Ron Priestley was being ridden – but not as vigorously as Highest Ground, who dropped away.

The odds-on favourite Al Aasy, normally a very smooth traveller, came off the bridle earlier than normal but still moved up to challenge as they met the rising ground.

In typical Johnston style, Sir Ron Priestley kept on battling against the rail – but Jim Crowley had still to ask for everything on Al Aasy.

However, as the line neared it, became obvious Al Aasy was up against a very determined opponent and would have to settle for second again – just as he did in last month’s Coronation Cup at Epsom.

Sir Ron Priestley (100-30) prevailed by a neck.

Johnston was relieved to see his 2019 St Leger runner-up return to his best after two lacklustre efforts of late, at this same Group Two level, since his victory in Newmarket’s Jockey Club Stakes.

“You couldn’t have any expectations, because he has had two disappointing runs – there’s no getting away from it,” said the Middleham trainer.

“After he won on the Rowley Mile course earlier in the year, we thought he’d be going a mile and six plus – so I didn’t really expect him to be here today.

“But those two runs left us scratching our heads – we’re still scratching our heads.”

The most likely explanation remains elusive for Johnston.

He said: “The easy answer is to say it’s the ground, and he needs a fast surface, but if you don’t like the ground you don’t like it throughout the race – not just in the last furlong or two – and at York this horse travelled to the front two out like he was going to walk all over them, and he didn’t get home.

“He was second in the St Leger and had a year off, and we were dreaming of Cup races. Now, we just don’t know (trip-wise) – we’ve got a very open mind.”

Johnston, whose brilliant Royal Ascot hero Subjectivist has been ruled out for the remainder of the season with an injured right foreleg, will consider further big-race targets over a variety of distances for Sir Ron Priestley.

“We said at the start of the year the Irish St Leger would be the principal target for him,” he added.

“But he’s in the King George – and if that was to go like the Eclipse, with a small field, we wouldn’t rule it out.

“We haven’t had a chance to speak to Paul Dean (owner) yet, but there is a vague possibility of supplementing for the Goodwood Cup.”