Give And Take claimed top honours in the Tattersalls Musidora Stakes at York.
A field of seven runners went to post for this recognised trial for next month’s Investec Oaks at Epsom, with Highgarden the 5-2 favourite to provide trainer John Gosden with a fourth successive win in the race – and a sixth in eight years.
Frankie Dettori took the market leader to the lead from the start, but she was a spent force entering the final furlong, whereas the William Haggas-trained Give And Take (7-2) battled it out with Dancing Brave Bear on the stands’ rail.
Ridden by James Doyle, Give And Take asserted close home to secure victory by a length.
Haggas said: “She stayed on well. What a wonderfully game filly she is.”
Doyle said: “I was pleased with her. Each time she’s ran to a creditable level.
“It took her a while to adapt to it but I was very pleased with here at the line. She gets the trip very well.”
Haggas added: “I was delighted with her. She’s a stakes winner for the breeder.
“I’ve never been convinced a mile and a half is her go. Nicholas Jones (owner-breeder) assures me she’s from a good staying family, but she has always shown me speed at home.
“I have her in the Prix Saint-Alary next week (at Longchamp). I’m going to look at that. I know it’s quite soon, but I’m not convinced about the Oaks. There is only one Oaks. If Mr Jones wants to go for it, then we will.”
Haggas said: “I wasn’t expecting James to ride him like that, just because we knew she’d be a strong stayer, but I left it up to him.
“I don’t know about Epsom, I’ll have to talk to her owner/breeder. He’s adamant she’ll stay further and I’m not so sure.
“She was a bit exposed by Sir Michael Stoute’s filly (Crystal Hope) at Sandown, but we did have a penalty, and now we’ve won a Group Three.
“I know Ed (Vaughan) likes his filly (Dancing Brave Bear) and they looked a nice bunch in the paddock.”
Jones said: “She’s in the Prix Saint-Alary on May 27 at Longchamp and we’ll have to see who goes where. It’s nice to have the option of both.”
Ed Vaughan said of runner-up Dancing Brave Bear: “She just didn’t come forward from her last run as I would have liked.
“She’s only really come to herself in the last couple of weeks and she’s given a good blow there so I’m sure there’s improvement in her.
“She’s an exciting filly. She’s in the Ribblesdale and I’d imagine we’ll go there next.”