Flattering was pushed back into third place as Perfect Clarity entered the Classic picture with a game victory in the Betfred Mobile Oaks Trial Fillies’ Stakes at Lingfield.
The former failed to continue trainer Aidan O’Brien’s fine run in the significant three-year-old races just a week after her convincing win at Cork.
Both her rider Ryan Moore and Adam Kirby, aboard Perfect Clarity, lost their whips in the closing stages when they put their mounts under pressure.
Casima made most of the running to three furlongs out but she was overtaken by Flattering, though her lead did not last long. Perfect Clarity (5-1), trained by Clive Cox, showed a willing attitude to ward off Cecchini to land the spoils by a length and a quarter.
Cox said: “She’s only had one start previous. She was always very nice.
“We’ve just brought her along quietly and everything’s been good. With maturity, I think she could be very special. She’s an exciting filly.
“I think we’ll be Epsom bound now. ”
Perfect Clarity was cut to around the 20-1 mark about winning the Investec Oaks at Epsom on June 1.
Kirby said: “I thought this would be up her street, a good stepping-stone. Hopefully she’ll come forward again.
“She’s got speed, a turn of foot and is well balanced. She gets the trip no problem. I think he’s got the class to go to Epsom.”
Cox added: “We were pleased to use this as a starting point. Hopefully she has given us enough confidence to go forward to Epsom.
“She is quite chilled at home but she is quite busy and she is very strong. We’ve just had to take it a step at a time and thankfully we’ve a nice filly to go forwards with.”
Ralph Beckett was pleased with the performance of runner-up Cecchini and has not ruled out a crack at the Oaks.
He said: “We will make a decision nearer the time (regarding Epsom) but I would be encouraged.
“It was her first time on the turf. She got pushed wide on the straight and was slightly racing on her own. But I would be encouraged rather than discouraged.”