Wells Farhh Go boosted his St Leger claims with an all-the-way success in the Bahrain Trophy at Newmarket on Thursday. Get all the feature reports from day one of the July Festival right here.
Wells slashed for Leger after Trophy win
Wells Farhh Go boosted his St Leger claims with an all-the-way success in the Bahrain Trophy at Newmarket.
Winner of the Acomb Stakes at York last season, the Tim Easterby-trained colt had been unplaced in two runs this season but had nevertheless ran with credit in the Dante Stakes and the King Edward VII at Royal Ascot.
In both of those races David Allan had tried to settle his mount, but this time Allan was positive, grabbing the lead early and dictating the pace beautifully.
Sent off at 7/1, Wells Farhh Go was five lengths clear at one stage, before Allan gave him a breather half a mile out and William Buick loomed up on Loxley.
He could never get past, though, and Wells Farhh Go went away again to win by two lengths, with Aidan O'Brien's Giuseppe Garibaldi a further five away in third. John Gosden's First Eleven, the 2/1 favourite, never threatened.
The winner was slashed in price to a 10/1 chance with Sky Bet for the final Classic of the season at Doncaster on September 15.
Advertise runs away with July Stakes
Advertise confirmed himself a smart prospect in running out a clear-cut winner of the Arqana July Stakes at Newmarket.
Runner-up to John Gosden's big hope Calyx in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot, the Martyn Meade-trained youngster was sent off the 11/10 favourite to go one place better.
Frankie Dettori, who rode Calyx at Ascot, kept Advertise widest of all before asking for his effort two furlongs out.
While the response was not totally immediate, he soon hit the front from Konchek and Charming Kid, taking the six-furlong Group Two contest by two lengths.
Gosden's Legends Of War, ultra-impressive on his only previous start, was very disappointing.
Meade said: "Wow, that's all I can say. I'm so thrilled.
"He's done everything right, but of course you never know until you get on to the racetrack. I think he could prove to be a really good horse.
"He's takes a bit of time to get going, which was why Frankie got at him, but we were thinking about the Superlative here on Saturday over seven furlongs - that might be his trip, but he can cope with this.
"He's got a bright future."
He added: "I'm very much thinking 2000 Guineas next year, he was in the betting after his run in the Coventry and I think he's stamped that today - over an extra distance I think he'll be a better horse."
Looking to the immediate future, Meade said: "I think we could go a bit further, so there is the Dewhurst or something like that. At least we have got a few options. It is just matter of choosing, that is the pressure now.
"He is pretty versatile. He has come from off the pace there and I'm very pleased with him. He is a big horse and he will always take a little bit of time to get going and he did it so well.
"You can't take away that form at Ascot and we always thought if he reproduced that he would be OK today and having seen that there he is going to progress further.
"It is not obvious on breeding, but he will get further."
Clive Cox said of Konchek: "I was delighted with the run. He clearly appreciated another furlong. He has got the most amazing temperament.
"The winner brought the best form to the table, so I'm very pleased. The Richmond (Glorious Goodwood) would be most likely for him next. He prefers a drier rather than a wetter surface."
Richard Fahey said of Charming Kid: "That looked a warm race today and I would say the winner is decent. I thought for two strides we had him. I wouldn't be afraid to drop him back in trip.
"I've put him in the Gimcrack and there is the Roses at York. There is Richmond and Molecomb at Goodwood, as he has plenty of speed."
Sky Bet cut Advertise to 10/1 from 16/1 for next year's 2000 Guineas.
Bin Suroor has Princess of Wales's Solution
Best Solution registered a gritty success in the Princess Of Wales's Arqana Racing Club Stakes at Newmarket.
Last seen finishing fifth in the Dubai Sheema Classic behind Hawkbill, Saeed bin Suroor's charge saw the trip out strongly as he held the determined challenge off the well-backed Mirage Dancer.
Having seen Charlie Appleby enjoy Derby and Royal Ascot successes this season for Godolphin, Bin Suroor has been quiet by his standards, but appears to have a Group One horse on his hands once more.
Mirage Dancer stuck at his task gamely having looked in danger of being swallowed up, but he ultimately went down by half a length to the 6-1 winner, ridden by Pat Cosgrave.
"We gave him a break after he finished fifth in Dubai," said Bin Suroor.
"Today was the race for him, he'd been working well in the morning. There was a question mark about the ground before the race, but when I spoke to the jockey he said the ground was fine for him.
"I told him not to rush early, keep him relaxed, because whatever happens he'll improve a lot for this.
"I'm always looking for Group One winners, but Group Twos are all right."
He went on: "After he was fifth in the Sheema Classic, we talked to Sheikh Mohammed and said we would give him a bit of time.
"In Dubai he ran four times and the time he has taken off has helped him. He missed Ascot and today was target for him. The horse was working really well and has improved physically from last year.
"I was just talking to Sheikh Mohammed and it will be the King George or the Irish St Leger (next).
"The horse is doing well and we are happy with him. The last furlong I thought he was going well.
"I'm looking for Group One options overseas in the future. We could also take him to Australia for the Melbourne Cup. Mile-and-a-quarter/mile-and a-half horses run well in that."
Sir Michael Stoute said of the gallant Mirage Dancer: "It was a good performance, a very game performance. He has run a super race. Going back to a mile and a half suits him. You can do anything with him.
"There are no excuses, he just found one a bit better on the day. The ground doesn't bother him. I don't know where we go next, it's time to think."
Best of the rest
Jane Chapple-Hyam's dreams of running Naval Intelligence in next year's Cox Plate may not seem so far fetched after he maintained his unbeaten record with victory in the Edmondson Hall Solicitors Sir Henry Cecil Stakes at Newmarket.
Having made a winning debut at the track last month, the three-year-old son of War Front doubled his tally of victories when defying his 33/1 price tag to run out a length-and-a-half winner of the Listed prize.
Chapple-Hyam said: "We hope that Winx is not around next year so we can go for the Cox Plate. Why not? We like having long-term plans. We aimed high today and it's paid off.
"It's been a long time since I've seen a horse sparkle like that.
"We've had a few phone calls already and we've turned them down so far. I've been in the game 30-odd years and when you see one like this you want to keep it."
Andrew Balding will be hoping history can repeat itself following Foxtrot Lady's return to winning ways in the bet365 Handicap.
The 8/1 chance made it number three for the campaign, as she claimed the six-furlong prize won by her half-sister Dancing Star in 2016 ahead of the Stewards' Cup by a nose.
The Kingsclere handler said: "She has been very progressive this year and probably when we ran her at York it was a bridge too far as it was her third race quite close together.
"She is in the Stewards' Cup. She might need a bit of luck to get in with a penalty, but we will take our chance and hope she does."
Charlie Appleby will look at Pattern-race options for Lover's Knot (6/1) after she went one better than on her debut at the track when taking the British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Fillies' Stakes by a neck.
The Newmarket handler said: "The filly had progressed from her first run and I was confident coming here today.
"I think we will just keep her at six and look at something like the Princess Margaret (Group Three at Ascot). She is neat and is there, but like all these fillies we will see how she comes out of it."