James Tate was slightly taken aback after Under The Stars sprang a surprise in maintaining her unbeaten record with victory in the Princess Margaret Keeneland Stakes at Ascot.
Making a winning debut at Ripon earlier this month, the Saeed Manana-owned filly had no problem with a step up in class, providing her sire Night Of Thunder with his first black-type winner in the Group Three contest.
Racing at the rear of the field for much of the six-furlong journey, the 25-1 shot forged ahead late on to defeat Albany third Aroha by half a length and earn quotes of around 33-1 for next year’s Qipco 1000 Guineas.
Tate said: “She has just got a killer attitude. Admittedly, I didn’t know what was under the bonnet, as she is a very relaxed filly, but I quite like what I have seen today.
“Of course that is a career-best on soft and if you asked me the choice (of ground) again I would go for soft ground.
“I just had a sneaky feeling she might go well. She is not a flashy worker at all and when something works nicely and is not blowing you hope there might be a bit extra there.
“I’m sure we will go for the Lowther and the Cheveley Park, as I’m sure that’s the obvious route. I’m sure we will invest some of that prize-money, as hopefully the Lowther supplementary costs less than that.”
Charlie Appleby’s beaten favourite Summer Romance was sixth under James Doyle, who said: “If I’d ridden the race again I would have let her bowl along, but she got quite excited beforehand and I wanted to get the first part of the race right.
“It was game over when I tried to get out.”