Crystal Ocean proved a class above his rivals when taking a step back up in trip in his stride to run riot in the Al Rayyan Stakes at Newbury.
After making a winning a return over 10 furlongs at Sandown last month, the Sir Michael Stoute-trained four year old showed his versatility with an impressive display in this Group Three mile and-a-half prize, better known as the Aston Park Stakes.
Taking command inside the final two furlongs, the Sea The Stars colt quickly put distance between himself and his rivals before crossing the line six lengths clear of runner-up Second Step.
Stoute said of the 2-5 winner: “We expected him to win. He is a very consistent, progressive and versatile horse and we hoped he could win that. He has got good form over 10 and 12 furlongs and he has been second in a St Leger.
“He is a joy to train. We’ve got him in the Prince of Wales’s, Hardwicke and Eclipse. We are going to try to work it out, but we don’t need to decide today.”
Roger Charlton, trainer of the runner-up, stated that a potential rematch with the winner at Royal Ascot will not be on the agenda for the seven-year-old.
He said: “I’m really pleased and yet again he has run a consistent race. All my horses are running like they need it, but he was beaten by a good horse.
“We will stick to Listed and Group Three level. We are not going to run at Royal Ascot in the Hardwicke.”
Alan King was pleased with effort of Scarlet Dragon, who finished a further length and a half back in third, but stressed he will try to avoid a really fast surface for the five-year-old.
He said: “He ran really well and I’m delighted with him. I’ve no idea where we will go, we will probably stick to Listed and Group Three races.
“I wouldn’t want to be running him on ground quite this quick too often.”