Limato continued his resurgence by successfully defending his crown in the Godolphin Stud And Stable Staff Awards Challenge Stakes at Newmarket.
Henry Candy’s stable star won twice at Group One level in 2016, landing the July Cup and the Prix de la Foret, but his only victory of last season came in this seven-furlong Group Two.
The six-year-old was disappointing in the first half of the current campaign, including over a mile in the Lockinge at Newbury and the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot and again failing to fire when bidding for a second July Cup.
However, confidence-boosting Listed-race wins at Newmarket and York got his career back on track and he completed his hat-trick in some style in the hands of Harry Bentley.
The 7-4 favourite was always travelling within his comfort zone and never looked in danger of being caught after striking the front, scoring by a length and a quarter from Zonderland.
Candy said: “He was loving it out in the open. He was enjoying a bit of freedom out there. He was just cantering today.
“Not at all did I think age had caught up with him (earlier in the season). The whole yard was not really firing at that stage.
“They all look brilliant when they are going past telegraph poles. He was working with horses that weren’t quite right and I was kidding myself he was OK and he wasn’t.”
He went on: “I always had great faith in him and his attitude is fantastic.
“When they’ve had enough they usually tell you, but he was wanting to do it the whole time.
“He loves that firm ground. He has got a great following and he deserves it.”
Asked whether Limato could make a swift reappearance in the Qipco British Champions Sprint at Ascot next Saturday, Candy said: “It is not impossible. In the old days he would want a month between races, but he is a totally different horse now.
“I suppose it is unlikely, but we will see how he is in the next couple of days.”