Battle Of Jericho came out on top in a thrilling finish to the Tote Rockingham Handicap at the Curragh.
The Aidan O’Brien-trained three-year-old was never a factor in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot last week but bounced back with a game display.
Battle Of Jericho had to show plenty of fight for Ryan Moore to hold the speedy and hardy Caspian Prince by a short head. Line Of Reason was third and Blue Uluru was fourth.
O’Brien said: “He’s a fast horse, and Ryan said you couldn’t get there late enough with him.
“We went to Ascot thinking he could run a big race, but he was too green and babyish for that. He would have learnt a lot, though, and it would have brought him on a lot. We think he will improve more.
“Ryan rode him in the Cornwallis last year and he got all locked up and he loved it. He missed time in the spring and had his first run back at Fairyhouse. He’s a five-furlong, fast-ground horse.
“He could turn into a Nunthorpe horse if he steps up again. Ascot probably wasn’t that fair to him as we pitched him in a bit quick.”
Fleet Review (evens favourite) just pipped stablemate Intelligence Cross as O’Brien landed a one-two in the Dubai Duty Free Jumeirah Creekside Dash Stakes.
The pair looked inseparable as they dashed past the line at the end of the six-furlong Listed contest, but the photograph showed Moore’s mount had prevailed by a nose from Donnacha O’Brien on the runner-up.
O’Brien said: “The pace was a bit mad early on in Ascot (Commonwealth Cup), but he got comfortable today and Donnacha’s horse was a little bit the same.
“Sometimes the pace can be mad early in Ascot and you can get hung up in it and you’re in trouble. He always was a solid horse and likes six furlongs and fast ground.
“The July Cup and all those sprints are there for him. He’s a big horse and a three-year-old, so he could well progress.”
I’m So Fancy came out best after a three-way battle for the Dubai Duty Free Millennium Celebration Stakes.
Jessica Harrington’s filly had won a Listed contest over two furlongs further three weeks ago and repeated the trick in game fashion.
Allegio and St Patrick’s Day pressed hard in the closing stages, but I’m So Fancy (5-2 joint-favourite) would not be denied and beat the former by half a length under Colm O’Donoghue.
Harrington said: “She won very well here the last time and I was taking a little bit of a chance dropping her back to a mile, but she had been running very well over a mile last year.
“They went very hard up front, which suited her. She’s improving all the time and aged four she’s come to life.
“She’s in the Group Two Kilboy (Estate) Stakes here (on July 22) over a mile and a quarter, so we’ll see how she comes out of this.”
Viadera finished with a flourish to make a winning debut in the Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise Irish EBF Maiden.
The only filly in the field, the Ger Lyons-trained daughter of Bated Breath produced a decisive turn of foot in the final furlong after showing her inexperience in the early stages of the six-furlong contest.
Darkash and Boston Bruin were prominent from the start, while U S S Michigan came with a strong run only to be denied in the shadow of the post by Colin Keane on Viadera (11-2), with the Khalid Abdullah-owned runner scoring by half a length.
Lyons said: “I just wanted a nice introduction on nice ground on a straight track and win her maiden next time. She hit the line strong and ran right down to the boards. There should be huge improvement in her going forward.
“I’ve been training 25 years and to have those colours winning for us is a proud day. Ultimately I’m always thinking stakes races, but she’ll tell me and it will be baby steps.”
Petticoat (7-2 joint-favourite) pulled away in the final furlong to record an easy success in the Dubai Duty Free Full Of Surprises Summer Fillies Handicap.
Trainer Michael Halford said: “We’ll try to get some black type with her now, and she’ll probably go to Killarney (Cairn Rouge Stakes on July 15).
“She’s very straightforward, loves that ground and hopefully she will go on to better things.”