Without Parole made his class count in the Matchbook Is Commision Free Heron Stakes at Sandown to complete a hat-trick of wins and book his ticket to Royal Ascot.
Having been forced to miss the 2000 Guineas with a foot issue, the John Gosden-trained Frankel colt backed up his impressive success at Yarmouth with a workmanlike display in the Listed prize, setting up a tilt at the St James’s Palace Stakes.
Despite the ground being softer than ideal, the 4-6 favourite, who took time to get into top gear under Frankie Dettori, proved three-quarters of a length too strong for runner up Gabr.
Gosden said: “It was quite a slog up that hill and I was nervous about running him, as I had missed a couple of bits of work after the foot abscess.
“I missed a lot of time with him and he needed it a little bit. The ground was very testing and it was dead old ground.
“He is a likeable horse and good to firm ground is his scene. That was a little bit demanding for him and Frankie committed early, but his class got him through.
“It wasn’t his ideal conditions and he came there slightly below the minimum work, but I had to get a run in if I was going to Ascot.”
He added: “It’s been a hell of a rush. He was in his box for a long time, then just walking and I’ve only got two pieces of work in and one was somewhat leisurely to say the least.
“We will go to the St James’s Palace Stakes and if we have lovely summer ground he will come on a bundle.”
Dettori said: “The soft ground was breaking his pattern and he was struggling on it.
“I think he would get a mile and a quarter, but he has the speed for a mile. He’s got quite a classical Frankel stride and is a pleasure to ride. He’s done nothing wrong so far.”
Adding extra gloss to the Without Parole story is the fact he is owned and bred by John Gunther, also the breeder of Kentucky Derby hero Justify, who is one leg away from claiming the American Triple Crown.
Gunther said: “I was very excited coming over here for this race, I’ve had sleepless nights, believe me. It’s awesome.”