Yafta gained a first victory at Pattern-race level when getting the better of a late battle to claim the bet365 Hackwood Stakes at Newbury.
Sitting just in behind Mythmaker, leader of the far-side group, the Richard Hannon-trained son of Dark Angel picked up well late on in the six-furlong prize, before showing a tenacious attitude to see off the challenge of Projection to clinch the Group Three by a head.
Hannon said of the Jim Crowley-ridden 7-1 winner: “He has got better and better. His breeders have come to see him today and he has not let them down. He is a lovely horse to have around.
“I thought next year would be his year. I also feel seven furlongs would be his trip. Richard Hills said this would be the race for him. I thought it was a very hot race, but he got it right.”
He added: “There are no plans yet. He will have to go up massively from here. I think he will love soft ground being by Dark Angel.
“He will be put in all those from now on (Group Ones). He is one horse that will last through the whole year. He is tough and sound.”
Roger Charlton, trainer of the runner-up, believes the result may have been different had the son of Acclimation been granted a clear run.
He said: “I thought he ran another very good race. He possibly didn’t get the luck in running he might have wanted, he ran to the line and he has just got beaten.”