Chris Wall saw his well-devised plan come to fruition after First Sitting registered back-to-back victories in the Netbet Mobile Bet10Get10 Festival Stakes at Goodwood.
After winning the 10-furlong Listed race 12 months ago when a relatively unfancied 16-1 chance, the son of Dansili repeated the trick under last year’s winning rider, Gerald Mosse, holding the late rally of Autocratic by half a length.
The Newmarket handler said of his 6-1 scorer: “He has won it a little easier this time, as we nearly got hunted down by Spark Plug last year.
“I was a bit concerned round the bend when he got in on the fence as that can be a problem here, but it opened up nicely two out and he has got that turn of foot which gets him out of trouble. It was worth four hours in the car to watch it.
“It was always the plan to come here and he did the same thing last year, ran in the Gordon Richards and then came here.
“He went to the La Coupe, which was at Chantilly last year, but is back at ParisLongchamp, and this year it’s two weeks and a day away and that might come too quick.
“He went to Deauville and won the Gontuat-Biron and I would think that will be on his agenda again.”
It looks to be only a matter of time before Society Power has his sights raised to Pattern-race level following the completion of a five-timer with a last-gasp victory in the Netbet Sport Handicap.
With more rivals ahead of him than behind him at the half-way point of the seven-furlong prize, the William Haggas-trained son of Society Rock managed to weave a path through his rivals under Andrea Atzeni, before getting up on the line to deny Emaraaty by a short head.
Assistant trainer Harry Eustace said of the 5-2 winner: “He kept us waiting with a photo, but he is a joy to train.
“He is a handicapper’s worst nightmare, as he never wins by very far. He is very tough and he keeps finding when we step him up in class.
“There are two options at Royal Ascot for him. There is the Jersey or we step him up to a mile for the Britannia. A fast-run seven furlongs there was just about ideal by a nostril.”
He added: “He is a horse that always had ability last year. He was from the breeze-ups, so we were a bit quiet last year as we just wanted to mind him as much as anything.”
Haggas was at Haydock, where he said: “I didn’t think at any stage he was going to get up.
“It looked like he’d get a mile there, but whether we’ll go to Ascot I don’t know.
“He went up five (pounds) for winning last time and I thought that just might cap him, but he never wins by far and keeps on improving. He’s a cracking horse.”
Natalie’s Joy put her name in the frame for Mark Johnston’s Royal Ascot team with her win in the Foreman Homes 21st Anniversary EBF Maiden Fillies’ Stakes.
Travelling smartly into contention, the daughter of Lope De Vega quickened well when asked by Joe Fanning, to put the six-furlong race to bed and cross the line six lengths clear of Swift And Sure.
Following the race the 4-1 winner was introduced at 14-1 by Paddy Power for the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Fanning said: “I think her work at home had been quite nice. She travelled down the hill and quickened up well and she won nicely. I don’t know what she beat, but she couldn’t have done it any easier.
“Mark loves Ascot and I’m sure he has got something there for here, but I will leave that to him.”
Sir Michael Stoute is a master at giving his horses time and Mirage Dancer is another that has appeared to benefit from that approach judged on his victory in the Netbet Android Download The App Tapster Stakes.
Having finished a close second on his seasonal return at Ascot earlier in the month, the well-built son of Frankel went one better in the mile-and-a-half Listed contest, to score for the first time since a winning debut at Doncaster in 2016.
Sitting for much of the race just in behind early leader Blakeney Point, the even-money favourite quickly moved through the gears before running out an eased-down three-length winner from the running-on Euginio.
Assistant trainer James Horton said: “He has done it very smoothly. He ran a lovely race first time out at Ascot a couple of weeks ago and we thought he was entitled to come here and do that.
“He is a big, athletic horse and has got a lovely rhythm to him. I think he might stay further in time and he is still relatively unfurnished – he could be a progressive horse, we hope.
“You look at him and he can only improve. He is still a little wintry looking in his coat and when it comes he could make up into a smart horse.
“These older horses become real yard favourites, him, Poet’s Word and Crystal Ocean all go in that bracket and they get looked after like royalty and keep delivering.
“Obviously he is a Khalid Abdullah horse and they like to have runners at Ascot, I’m sure we will slot him into the right race.”