U S Navy Flag led home a sensational one-two-three-four for trainer Aidan O’Brien in the Darley Dewhurst Stakes at the Rowley Mile on Saturday.
Despite the fact that the brother of Roly Poly was the only Group 1-winning horse in the field, Sir Michael Stoute’s Expert Eye had been the favourite of the bookmakers to prosper.
However, while Stoute’s two-year-old came home last, U S Navy Flag made a mockery of his 5/1 odds under Ryan Moore.
Any stamina doubts about the son of Scat Daddy were put firmly to bed as Moore’s mount stretched right away up the stands’ rail to dominate the seven-furlong contest.
O’Brien, who is now just one top grade victory short of matching Bobby Frankel’s record of 25, said: “His sister Roly Poly was very good at six furlongs, better over seven and even better over a mile, so it’s entirely possible that he will get the mile.
“We thought he might have to make our running so Ryan did the right thing. He’s a very good Middle Park winner so I think he was a bit overlooked in the market today.
“Both he and his sister are out of a very good Galileo mare and they are very genuine, they won’t flinch when they get there.”
The Dubai Future Champions Festival’s other Group 1 prize went the way of Karl Burke’s Laurens in Friday’s bet365 Fillies’ Mile.
“She is a very high class filly and we always knew that, she is a galloper rather than a speed horse at this stage of her career but when we step her up to a mile-and-a-quarter next season then she is going to be very good,” said Spigot Lodge’s Burke.
“I think the ideal race for her would be the Prix de Diane, with all those lovely French premiums, but we will see.”