Slade Power confirmed himself as the best sprinter in Europe on Saturday with a decisive win in this year’s Group One Darley July Cup.
In what was another high quality renewal of the six-furlong contest, the Eddie Lynam-trained five-year-old showed he has finally come age by adding the illustrious race to his name to follow up his victory in last month’s Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.
“Obviously he has proved he is the champion European sprinter and now let us let him have a chance to be the champion world sprinter,” said Lynam. “He will go to Haydock for the Sprint Cup and then he will be on the plane immediately to Australia for the Melbourne Sprint in November.
“He’s progressed from being a very good horse to a top-class horse. I am very proud of him.”
Richard Hannon was left surprised by the four-and-a-half-length win posted by Estidhkaar in the Group Two 666Bet Superlative Stakes.
The win was the second Group race victory the Marlborough handler at the three-day meeting with it arriving 48 hours after Ivawood stormed to glory in Thursday’s Group Two Portland Place July Stakes.
“He got beaten first time out through immaturity, but I didn’t expect him to win like that,” said Hannon, who doubled his tally on the day following a victory for When Will It End in the Class Two nursery handicap. “He surprised me with the manner in which he did it.
“Goodwood is an option next time and then there’s the Dewhurst or the Royal Lodge, but he’s a nice Guineas horse for next year.”
Heaven’s Guest returned to the level of form displayed when taking two valuable handicaps last year with a victory in the ultra-competitive 666bet Bunbury Cup.
After finishing nearer last than first in the Buckingham Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot last time, the four-year-old bounced back in style in the seven-furlong heritage handicap.
“We tried him in stakes races but he lacks a gear for that and he loves these big flat handicaps where they go flat out,” said winning trainer Richard Fahey. “They are tailor made for him.”
Newmarket trainer Ed Walker has suggested that a trip to America could be on the cards for Glorious Protector following his impressive seven-length victory in the concluding 1m4f handicap.
“We have always held him in such high regard and I am pleased that he has finally delivered the goods,” said Walker, who 24 hours earlier saddled Glorious Protector to victory at the course. “I’ve got him in the Ebor, but he could go for the American St Leger — my worry there is that the ground might be too quick.”
Integral finally came good in Group One company during her third attempt to score at the highest level in Friday’s QIPCO Falmouth Stakes.
Showing she can handle soft ground as well as a quicker surface, the Sir Michael Stoute-trained four-year-old had too much ammunition for her rivals in the mile contest to add to her win in the Group Two Duke of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot last time out.
“We didn’t contemplate not running her on soft ground because we wanted to find out if she’d handle it,” said the Newmarket handler. “The fact that she’s by Dalakhani was an encouragement, because most Dalakhani’s handle this sort of ground and we’ve now found out she does handle this ground.
“We’ll have to go down the Group One route with her now and the great thing now is we know she goes on the top of the ground as well.”
Arabian Queen gave fellow Newmarket trainer David Elsworth a welcome boost when landing the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes sponsored by QIPCO.
The daughter of Dubawi led from pillar to post in the six-furlong Group Two contest under Ryan Moore, lowering the colours of the Andre Fabre-trained odds-on favourite High Celebrity in the process.
“We were very hopeful,” said Elsworth, who also trained Arabian Queen’s dam Barshiba. “There was probably a bit of ‘Fabre-itis’ about, as when he brings one over it gets respected.
“We might go to Deauville or the Cheveley Park. All possibilities are open for her.
“Without getting carried away, she is a filly of considerable promise.”
On Thursday, the Mark Johnston-trained Hartnell, winner of the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot last month, was another to follow up his win at the Berkshire track when gamely taking the Group Three Bahrain Trophy under a fine front-running ride by Joe Fanning.
Middleham master Johnston, and jockey Fanning completed a double later in the card after Torchlighter cruised to a five-length success in the Class Two 1m2f handicap.
Veteran stayer Cavalryman, who is trained in town by Saeed bin Suroor, was another to benefit from a well-judged front-running ride when rolling back the years to land the Group Two Boylesports.com Princess of Wales’ Stakes.