Old Persian was a clear-cut winner of the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot.
A field of nine colts went to post for the ‘Ascot Derby’ and it was Aidan O’Brien’s Delano Roosevelt, who finished sixth in the Investec Derby at Epsom three weeks ago, who was sent off the 5-2 favourite.
Old Persian, representing the Derby-winning combination of trainer Charlie Appleby and jockey William Buick, was a 9-2 chance for the Group Two contest, stepping up in class after winning the Listed Fairway Stakes at Newmarket last month.
The son of Dubawi tracked the pacesetting Raa Atoll for a long way before committing for home early in the straight and he stuck to his guns admirably to see off all-comers.
The O’Brien-trained pair of Rostropovich and Giuseppe Garibaldi came home well to finish second and third respectively, with their stablemate Delano Roosevelt only fifth.
Appleby saddled Masar to win the premier Classic at Epsom and was enjoying his second Royal Ascot winner of the week following Blue Point’s triumph in the King’s Stand on Tuesday.
He said: “Last season we had a great team of two-year-olds, they all wintered well and came into the spring in great nick.
“This horse has done nothing but progress through the spring.
“Will (Buick) made a great manoeuvre after the first two or three furlongs to sit on Frankie’s (Dettori, on Raa Atoll) quarters and once he hit the front I was confident he would see it out well.
“I’m delighted for the team. We’ll enjoy today and regroup over the next week or two.
“He’s a typical Dubawi and has improved from two to three and will improve from three to four, I’m very confident of that.
“I just wanted to mind him a bit more. We have always liked him and he has got the scope to progress in time. I hope that is what we are achieving at the moment.”
Asked if the William Hill St Leger could be a target, Appleby said: “William said it could be something to keep an eye on, but I’m happy to stay at a mile and a half.
“I’ve entered him in France, in the Grand Prix de Paris, so that’s an option for him.”
O’Brien said: “All three of them ran very well. I thought they all had chances and had very good runs.
“Rostropovich ran a very good race. We were a bit disappointed with him in France (ninth in French Derby), but this is his first run over a mile and a half so you would have to be very happy with that.
“Giuseppe Garibaldi is getting better and is improving. He will improve more.
“Ryan’s (Moore) horse (Delano Roosevelt) will improve with time and distance. He said he ran well and was happy with him.”
John Gosden saddled the front-running Raa Atoll, who eventually finished fourth.
He said: “He ran really well and he would be suited by a good pace and not having to make it.
“He is a St Leger type so we will train him for the St Leger.
“He would appreciate it if it started raining again. I would think the Gordon Stakes at Goodwood, or that sort of thing, he could go for next.”