John Gosden saw his decision to drop Kick On back in trip vindicated with a return to winning ways in the Tattersalls Sovereign Stakes at Salisbury.
Seventh in the 2000 Guineas, the Qatar Racing-owned three-year-old, who was making his first appearance since the Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot, pulled out just enough to deny Accidental Agent by a nose in the Group Three feature.
Thady Gosden, assistant to his father, said of the 9-2 winner: “To be honest, from where I was standing I thought he had just been just done, but luckily he stuck his neck out and got there by a nose.
“He tried his heart out. The fact it was a stiff test and the softer ground helped a little bit, as he has been running over a mile and two previously.
“He has done well for the break. He didn’t have the smoothest middle part of the season, running in France and at Royal Ascot, having won the Feilden at the start of the year.
“It is great to see him come back to form there and the second horse is a Group One winner, so it was pretty stiff competition. He was three wide the whole way, but he settled well for much of the race.”
As for Accidental Agent, his trainer Eve Johnson Houghton felt the performance was a step back in the right direction for last year’s Queen Anne Stakes hero.
She said: “I thought we had won. That ground was a bit sticky for him, but he ran a lovely race. He is coming back to form.
“He is a Group One horse and we know that. He is jumping out, travelling and going really well. Things are just not rolling right for us and we know that happens. Get him back to his beloved Ascot and he will run another big race.”
Meanwhile, Mark Johnston reported Marie’s Diamond was fine after pulling up midway through the race.
He said: “He took a false step. Franny (Norton) didn’t realise it for a bit, but he just played it safe. The horse seems fine.”